'Maintain the Momentum' on Climate Change: U.N. Head

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told environmental ministers to "maintain the momentum" in comabiting climate change, and reject efforts by skeptics to derail the process.(Photo: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged a group of environmental ministers to continue to work towards combating climate change in spite of efforts from skeptics to derail the process.

Ban specifically mentioned those who were "exaggerating" the mistakes found in the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been the centerpiece of the recently dubbed "climate-gate" scandal.

"To maintain the momentum, I urge you to reject the last-ditch attempts by climate skeptics to derail your negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report," Ban said.

"Tell the world that you unanimously agree that climate change is a clear and present danger, that you are working to implement agreements already made and that you are continuing negotiations under the UNFCCC to address climate change according to the demands of current scientific information," he added.

Ban's comments were read to a group of 130 environmental officials at the beginning of an annual U.N. meeting in Bali, the talks of which will center around securing a binding treaty at the upcoming climate summit in Cancun, Mexico.

Meanwhile, progress towards reaching legal terms in climate policy have been hampered by disagreements over the legitimacy of the Copenhagen Accord.

The Accord, which was drafted in December by the U.S., China, India, Brazil and South Africa, maintains that keeping temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius is important, but makes no commitments to reduce emissions to keep the temperature rise in check.

The use of the Accord as a basis for further negotiations has mostly been championed by the U.S., while developing countries fear use of the document will relieve rich nations of responsibilities outlined in previous U.N. climate negotiations.

A submission to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from Saudi Arabia read, "Since the Copenhagen Accord has not been formally adopted, it has no legal status within the UNFCCC, and thus can't be used as basis or reference for further negotiations. To support a Party driven process, only the Parties can produce new text and determine the basis of further work. This must be done by

On Tuesday, U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer announced an accelerated schedule for climate negotiations, which will resume in Bonn, Germany in April.

The summit in Cancun is scheduled to take place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.

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