Tackling climate change a moral obligation, General Assembly President says

Tackling climate change a moral obligation, General Assembly President says

Srgjan Kerim, President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly
In addition to the incontrovertible scientific data, there is an ethical dimension to combating climate change, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today in an address at the historic meeting on the issue at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In addition to the incontrovertible scientific data, there is an ethical dimension to combating climate change, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today in an address at the historic meeting on the issue at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“The science is clear; it is unequivocal,” said Mr. Kerim, who has chosen “Responding to Climate Change” as the theme for this year’s general debate which kicks off tomorrow.

“Beyond the impact on ecosystems, economics and communities everywhere, we have a moral obligation to our fellow human beings,” he added.

Along with last month’s General Assembly thematic debate on climate change and the general debate, today’s landmark event – marking the largest-ever gathering of world leaders on the issue – will serve as a guide for the upcoming negotiations scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia, in December, Mr. Kerim noted.

That meeting seeks to determine future action on mitigation, adaptation, the global carbon market and financing responses to climate change for the period after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol – the current global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – in 2012.

Solutions to the problem must be global in scope, with all countries, cities, towns and communities having a stake, the President said.

“What we need now is a stocktake, a clear vision of the way forward and a strategy to get us there together,” he said, proposing the creation of a comprehensive road map to lead the way forward for both the UN and its Member States in addressing climate change.

Beyond Bali, Mr. Kerim stated his intention to convene a General Assembly thematic debate early next year to reach a global consensus – bringing together the expertise of the UN, civil society, the private sector and academics – on how to stem climate change.

“We all agree that climate change is unquestionably the biggest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century,” he said. “There is no more time to waste. The momentum we have now must not be lost.”