Global General

UN chief urges climate change on G8, G20 agenda

Updated: 2010-05-13 14:02
Large Medium Small

Ottawa - The United Nations Secretary-General pressed here Wednesday for putting climate change on the agenda of the G8 and G20 summits which Canada hosts in Toronto in June.    

Ban Ki-moon, who arrived here for a one-day working visit, also pressed Ottawa to live up to the greenhouse-gas reduction targets it negotiated under the Kyoto Protocol.    

Related readings:
UN chief urges climate change on G8, G20 agenda Climate change co-op to boost Sino-Indian ties
UN chief urges climate change on G8, G20 agenda Reacting to climate change: The Mangrove Planter
UN chief urges climate change on G8, G20 agenda Climate change forum held in Beijing
UN chief urges climate change on G8, G20 agenda 'We must work on climate change'

"Canada has a special role and special responsibility to play," Ban told an audience of hundreds of academics, diplomats and civil society groups organized by the United Nations Association in Canada.    

"I urge Canada to comply fully with the targets set out by the Kyoto Protocol," he added, before holding meetings with Harper and opposition leaders. Ban also called on Canada to press fellow G8 leaders to live up to their previous aid commitments to help developing countries improve their living and environments.    

The UN chief praised Canada for making child and maternal health in the developing countries a major issue at the G8 in the Muskoka region of Ontario during June 25-26, followed by the G20 summit in Toronto on June 26-27.    

Asserting that economic recovery, impoverished country development and climate change are all interwoven, Ban said he will look to the G20 "to push for a green recovery to the global economic crisis."    

Canada's Conservatives government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rejected the 1998 Kyoto Protocol, which was negotiated by the previous Liberal government and calls for a six percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 based on 1990 levels.   

Harper has pledged a 17 per cent reduction by 2020, based on 2005 levels, which is in line with US targets but not as tough as Kyoto. 

Supporting the Copenhagen Accord, he also has pledged that Canada would contribute a fair share to a global fund to help developing countries to reduce their emissions.