With the reaffirmed pledges by several leaders from developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon was encouraged by this morning's opening session of the UN climate change summit.
The UN convenes the summit, the largest gathering yet on climate change, in order to inject a political impetus into the impeded climate negotiations, as developed countries failed to reach the promised targets of the greenhouse gas emissions.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (4th L) poses for photos with other leaders at the UN headquarters in New York Sept. 22, 2009. President Hu and the other leaders were attending the UN Climate Change Summit in New York Sept. 22. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)
Calling it a "historical and strong commitment," Ban specifically referenced Japan and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's new appointment, noting how it "changed the whole dynamic."
As part of the UN one-day climate change summit, Ban hosted a working luncheon with heads of state and government leaders, business and civil society leaders, in an effort to build momentum for the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.
"We have to build political momentum to seal a deal on climate change this December in Copenhagen," Ban said.
Praising the participation of heads of state and government, Ban was also careful to emphasize the "urgency of the challenge before us."
Ban who has been a loud advocator for the UN-led "Seal the Deal" campaign is urging governments to come to a consensus on climate change--in order to seal the deal in Copenhagen.
"An agreement in Copenhagen will help to fundamentally transform the global economy. It can spur innovation, unleash investments on an unprecedented scale and power green growth across the plane," Ban said.
In setting ambitious mid-term greenhouse gas reduction targets, Ban is pushing for industrialized countries to agree on that crucial point.
"A low-carbon economy can be achieved, and can be economically viable, with the right policy signals," he said.
Warning "that the short-term cost of action is far outweighed by the long-term price prosperity," Ban also emphasized "that doing the right thing for the climate" will ensure "global competitiveness and long-term prosperity."
"It is a choice between sustainable growth and economic turmoil, a choice between inclusive global markets and trade anarchy, a choice between a healthy planet and environmental catastrophe," Ban added.