Developed countries should take the lead in combating climate change, while the developing world should also be more greatly engaged in responding to the global threat, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon said here on Monday ahead of his attendance in the UN climate change conference in Bali.
Delivering a keynote address at an UN meeting on "climate change, green growth and inclusive development" at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Bangkok headquarters with the focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the UN chief reiterated his support for the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", as put in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which state that all countries share the common responsibility on combating climate change, while industrialized countries should take the lead by committing themselves to certain emission reduction goals.
The industrialized countries "carry the burden of historical responsibility for the climate change problem, and hey have the financial resources and technological capabilities to initiative deep and early cuts in emissions," acknowledged Ban.
Yet it does not mean that developing countries should do nothing, said Ban, emphasizing that climate change problem is a global issue and the burden has effects for the whole world.
"Now we should look at the historical responsibilities in the future for our grand-grand children."
"The developing world needs to stop viewing climate change solely as an environmental issue and begin approaching it as a development concern," Ban said.
"Many countries in the Asian-Pacific region have already undertaken meaningful voluntary initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, but developing countries need more hand better incentive to spur even greater emission reductions ... In particular, developing nations need to be reassured that the international response to climate change will not sacrifice their legitimate poverty eradication and development aspirations."
Thus, developed countries should assist developing countries by providing better funding and technology transfers, particularly for energy supply and adaptation. These kinds of measures should be included in future negotiations.
Ban said at the September UN meeting on climate change, all participating leaders have spoken in one voice, acknowledging climate change as one truly global threat. And there has been no disputes on the scientific findings as put in UN reports as to the catastrophic consequences climate change could bring. "What is missing is political will."
An ESCAP release stated that the speech would be the UN head's key policy statement on climate change before he heads for Bali, Indonesia to attend at the UN climate change conference on Tuesday.
The Bali conference is expected to outline a roadmap towards negotiations between countries' future commitment on reducing green house gases and other climate change mitigation issues as the first commitment period stipulated in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol will terminate in 2012.
The negotiations should be completed by 2009 in order to find the agreement on new targets for reducing emissions, as the ratification process by participating countries is supposed to take about two years.
Ban is paying an official visit to Thailand since Sunday. This is also Ban's first visit to Asia as UN Secretary-General.