UN chief praises France's leadership on climate change

9th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has praised France's leadership in the run-up to the UN climate change talks that got underway in Copenhagen.

UNITED NATIONS - "I do appreciate such a strong commitment and leadership of (French) President (Nicolas) Sarkozy, whose commitment and leadership has been instrumental in bringing the current stage of the negotiation to where we are now," Ban said as he met with visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner here.

"I am counting on the leadership and commitment and support of the French Government so that we will be able to seal a deal in Copenhagen," he added.

Ban, who has made climate change a priority issue since he took office in January 2007, said he was encouraged that more than 105 leaders had pledged to to attend the summit-level segment of the Copenhagen meeting on December 18.

"Our target, our goal, is to have a legally binding treaty as soon as possible in 2010," he added. "The more ambitious, the stronger agreement we have in Copenhagen, the easier, the quicker the process we will have to a legally binding treaty in 2010, as early as possible."

Meanwhile Kouchner told a press conference that his talks with Ban focused on the issue of innovative financing to help developing countries combat poverty and meet the high costs of climate change adaptation.

The French minister said that after a deal is reached in Copenhagen, it will be up to the UN system to implement it and monitor its implementation.

The landmark climate change conference opened in Copenhagen on Monday to warnings of apocalyptic danger for mankind if world leaders failed to seize the moment.

The impact on humanity of man-made drought, flood, storms and rising seas were spelled out at the start of the 12-day meeting.


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