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Climate change tops Ban’s talks with French leader

Climate change tops Ban’s talks with French leader

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France
The urgent need to forge consensus on a new climate change pact aimed at curbing harmful greenhouse gases dominated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s talks today with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Following a working lunch with the French leader, Mr. Ban told reporters in New York that he is “very grateful” for Mr. Sarkozy’s “full commitment to work together to ‘seal the deal’ in Copenhagen on a globally acceptable climate change deal.”

In December in the Danish capital, countries are expected to wrap up negotiations on an ambitious successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

The Secretary-General praised the “great leadership” of Mr. Sarkozy last year, as President of the European Union, in agreeing to the bloc’s energy and climate package, under which its 27 member countries agreed on a target to slash carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

Earlier this month, Mr. Ban warned that the cuts in emissions by 2050, proposed by the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations at their summit in L’Aquila, Italy, “while welcome, are not sufficient.”

Today, he voiced his appreciation of the “great partnership” between the UN and France, especially in the area of peacekeeping. “I’m happy to have such strong support from the French President,” he said.

Among the other topics discussed were international governance and the situations in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur, Somalia, Iran and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).