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. UN chief praises EU 'leadership' on climate change

by Staff Writers
Athens (AFP) Nov 5, 2009
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised the European Union Thursday for its "leadership" in offering financial aid to poorer countries to tackle global warming.

"I commend the EU's leadership role in addressing climate change and I am encouraged by the recent EU summit meeting where leaders had detailed discussions on a climate financing package," Ban told Greek lawmakers during a visit to Athens.

European leaders agreed last Friday that they would offer financial assistance to poorer nations at a UN-backed meeting in Copenhagen next month to help them tackle climate change and cope with its consequences, without giving an exact figure.

The December 7-18 talks in the Danish capital aim to produce a treaty that will take effect after 2012 when current pledges of the Kyoto Protocol expire, setting medium- and long-term goals for taming global warming.

Ban said the international community "must provide financial and technological support to developing countries" in their efforts to reduce polluting emissions.

"We must have a global agreement an agreement which is comprehensive, balanced, equitable and binding." he said, adding the recent global economic turmoil "cannot be an excuse to abandon pledges" to address the climate change problem.

Ban, who was in Athens for the UN-backed Global Forum on Migration and Development, was expected to leave Greece for Britain late Thursday.

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