Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the new initiative announced by the Government of the United Kingdom on financing for climate change, ahead of this December’s meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, where countries are expected to wrap up negotiations on an ambitious new pact to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
According to media reports, last Friday, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown unveiled the “Roadmap to Copenhagen” proposal for $100 billion to be raised annually to finance mitigation and adaptation measures, especially in the world’s poorest nations.
“This initiative comes at a critical time, and is precisely the kind of leadership developed countries must demonstrate” if talks on a new climate change framework, seeking to replace the Kyoto Protocol whose first commitment period ends in 2012, are to succeed, Michele Montas, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, said.
“Without a serious commitment on financing from developed countries, a deal in Copenhagen is unlikely,” she added.
The UK proposal’s focus on adaptation, the Secretary-General believes, is especially crucial since the poorest and most vulnerable developing countries are suffering most acutely from climate change.
“He also welcomes the reaffirmation of the principle that additional public funding, beyond existing pledges for development assistance, is necessary to finance adaptation,” Ms. Montas noted.
Mr. Ban also voiced hope that the UK scheme will spur discussion and financing commitments from other Member States.
Last week, he invited heads of State and government to attend an “unprecedented” global summit at UN Headquarters to propel action towards “sealing the deal” on a new global warming accord in Copenhagen.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this and future generations,” he said at a press conference in New York. “Emissions are rising and the clock is ticking.”
The high-level meeting will be held on 22 September, just over two months before the start of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in the Danish capital.