World Bulletin/News Desk
A high-level climate change meeting opened Sunday in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi in the presence of United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.
The Abu Dhabi Ascent, attended by government, business and civil society leaders, aims to build momentum for the Climate Summit, to be hosted by the U.N. in September.
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, former British prime minister Tony Blair and former Mexican president Felipe Calderon are partaking in the two-day meeting.
“A major focus of Abu Dhabi Ascent will be on the economic benefits of action on climate change. Reducing emissions, while promoting economic and social development, is the challenge before us, because there is no alternative,” Calderon, who chairs the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, an initiative sponsored by seven countries into the economics of climate change, said in a statement.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday he was hopeful that a goal of limiting global temperature rises to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius could be achieved, but urged governments to take practical action before it was too late.
"We have to ask the leaders to commit to bold ambitious targets and we will ask them to accelerate their actions on the ground," Ban told a two-day conference on climate change in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi.
Ban said both meetings would be "solution shops" for an urgent problem.
Many developing nations want a one-day summit in New York on September 23 to be the deadline for rich countries to outline planned cuts in greenhouse gases beyond 2020, seen as a key step towards securing a global climate deal in 2015.
Governments have promised to limit temperature rises to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times to avert ever more heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels that the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says are linked to man-made warming.
An IPCC report issued in April and endorsed by governments said such levels were still attainable but that policies currently in place put the world on target for a temperature rise of up to 4.8 C (8.6 F) by 2100.
Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The report is the main scientific guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to be agreed in late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century.
Ban said he would discuss the issue with Chinese leaders on a planned trip this month. Rapid industrial growth in China and other big developing countries has been blamed for increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Earlier, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in an April report that greenhouse gas emissions worldwide have risen dramatically over the past decade.
In order to limit the increase of the global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by mid-century, the report said, the world nations must work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 40 percent, and as much as 70 percent.
Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2014, 12:31