Ban calls on G8 to combat climate change, boost support for development

24 June 2009

Climate change and development top the list of challenges requiring action that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has laid out in a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations ahead of their upcoming summit.

In the letter, Mr. Ban asks G8 governments to take the lead on the issue of climate change by making “ambitious and firm commitments” to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40 per cent, the levels the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says are required on the part of industrialized countries to ward off the worst effects of global warming.

“He says that he hopes that G8 governments will commit to a specific timetable and modalities to deliver the billions of dollars needed during the next few years to assist the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change,” his spokesperson, Michele Montas, said.

Resources must be committed to help the poorest and most vulnerable adapt to climate change as well as to “seal the deal” on an ambitious new pact in December in Copenhagen to replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012, the letter says.

On the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, the Secretary-General writes that annual aid to Africa is still at least $20 billion below the targets set at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, United Kingdom, in 2005.

“He urges the G8 to set out, country by country, how donors will scale up aid to Africa over the next year to make the Gleneagles commitments real,” Ms. Montas said.

This year’s G8 summit will be held from 8-10 July in the Italian city of L’Aquila.

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