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UN chief Ban to press G8 leaders on climate, Africa aid

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) July 6, 2009
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he would press leaders of the Group of Eight industralised nations to live up to their pledges on climate change and aid for Africa when they meet this week.

He warned that the impact on developing nations of the recent energy, food and economic crises would pale in comparison to the damage likely to be wrought by climate change.

"Later this week I will be calling on world leaders at the G8 meeting in L'Aquila, Italy to be bold and ambitious," Ban told journalists. "The time for good rhetoric and half measures is over."

Ban said the G8 must "lead the way" in reaching a deal at the Copenhagen climate conference in December and ushering in "more ambitious" emissions cuts and aid to help poor countries cope with the impact of global warming.

Negotiations have been foundering, partly over disagreements on emissions targets and a rift between industrialised and emerging nations on the burden of responsibility for deeper cuts in carbon emissions.

Ban also promised to "remind" the G8 leaders that they must make good on pledges made four years ago at a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland to boost aid for developing countries, especially in Africa.

"Aid remains... 20 billion dollars (14 billion euros) below the Gleneagles target," said Ban.

"I therefore call again for solidarity and special attention on the plight of the poor and those least responsible for the economic crisis and those least able to bear its impact."

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