Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called again for urgent and concrete action on climate change, as high-level officials gathered at the United Nations to discuss the growing global concern over the impacts of the phenomenon on food and water security.
“Action on climate change remains a major piece of unfinished business,” Mr. Ban told an event hosted by Qatar on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 67th session of the General Assembly.
Last December, Member States agreed to reach a legally binding agreement on climate change by 2015, he said, referring to the decision taken by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at their conference in Durban, South Africa.
“Two days ago I called on Member States to make good on this promise. Time is running out on our ability to limit the rise in global temperature to 2 degrees centigrade.”
It is vital for everyone to work together to make the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in the Qatari capital of Doha from 26 November to 7 December, “a major stepping stone to a global, robust and legally binding climate regime,” said Mr. Ban.
The world, he said, is witnessing the highest levels of emissions ever; the Arctic sea ice is again at an all-time low; and it is another record year for wild fires, droughts and flooding. Climate change is making weather patterns both extreme and unpredictable, contributing to volatility in global food prices, which means food and nutrition insecurity for the poor and the most vulnerable.
The Secretary-General has made food security a top priority through the Zero Hunger Challenge he launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June.