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On planned Brazil trip, Ban Ki-moon to observe efforts to combat climate change

On planned Brazil trip, Ban Ki-moon to observe efforts to combat climate change

As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prepares to leave next week for an official visit to Latin America and Europe, his spokesperson today provided details on the itinerary, which includes a first-hand look at Government efforts to combat climate change and deforestation in Brazil.

Spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York that while in Argentina, Mr. Ban will have a joint meeting with President Nestor Kirchner, and the President Elect, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

In Chile, in addition to attending the Ibero-American Summit, he will unveil a commemorative plaque – together with Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet – in honor of a Spanish UN staff member who was murdered in 1976 in Chile.

“After leaving Chile’s capital, he will head to Punta Arenas, in southern Chile, and Antarctica – for a trip that will allow him to learn more about one of his priority issues: climate change,” Ms. Montas said.

“In Brazil, he will see firsthand the Government’s efforts to confront climate change. By visiting an ethanol plant near Sao Paulo, he hopes to see how the use of biofuels has allowed Brazil to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” she noted.

With his visit to Brazil’s Amazon region, including the Tapajós National Forest, Mr. Ban will take stock of Brazil’s recent achievements in fighting deforestation and promoting sustainable forest management.

The Secretary-General is also scheduled to meet Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

On 17 November, Mr. Ban will visit Valencia, Spain, where the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be releasing its latest report. The IPCC was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Al Gore.

Mr. Ban’s trip builds on his previous efforts to push for action ahead of a major climate change conference to be held in December in Bali, Indonesia, where delegates from across the world are expected to try to hammer out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which contains legally binding targets for reducing emissions but expires in 2012.