Secretary-General urges ministers to usher in new era of climate change solutions

20 February 2008

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed to environment ministers from around the world to usher in a “new generation” of solutions to climate change.

“You can help us meet the crucial challenge of mobilizing finance to meet the climate challenge,” he said in a video message to more than 100 ministers in Monaco at the start of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum sponsored by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

This meeting, focusing on the theme “Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge,” is the largest gathering of environment ministers since last December’s historic UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, where 187 countries agreed to launch a two-year process of formal negotiations on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Today, Mr. Ban called on the participants at the three-day Monaco conference – also including business leaders, economists, scientists and local government officials, among others – to press ahead with forging a post-Kyoto agreement.

The negotiations process is scheduled to wrap up next year at a major summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Achieving a deal there is my priority, and that of the entire UN family,” said the Secretary-General, who has made tackling climate change a top priority. “We must sustain the momentum, including through practical actions now.”

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