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Environment

UN chief urges 'responsibility' as Trump threatens climate deal

media UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (seen here, right, on 15 October, 2016 in Haiti) says there is "no plan B" for climate change. Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday urged political leaders to show responsibility in addressing the threat of global warming. Ban was speaking at the UN’s 22nd conference on climate change in Marrakesh, Morocco which has been overshadowed by US president-elect Donald Trump's recent denials of climate change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday sought to allay fears within the climate community about the potential fallout of Trump’s victory.

“More than 3,000 scientists from around the world have repeatedly said that climate change is happening,” the UN chief told delegates gathered at the UN’s 22nd conference on climate change [Cop22] in Marrakesh, in reference to Trump’s claims that climate change is merely a hoax.

Negotiators seem uncertain of how to take the new US-elect president’s extreme rhetoric. The worst case scenario would see the world’s second-largest emitter withdraw from the UN climate convention that entered into force on 4 November.

“My sense is that market forces are already at work on this issue and we need to heist these forces for the good of the planet,” Ban continued.

Climate action unstoppable

“What once seemed to be unthinkable," said Ban, "has now become unstoppable. It has turned around the corner. So now people are moving towards the right direction.”

Whether the new US administration decides to follow this direction won’t destroy that dynamic, he insisted.

Although countries like China and Cop host Morocco appear willing to play a greater role in leading the fight against climate change, Ban said responsibility responsible must be shared:

“I’m asking [all] leaders to have strong political responsibility and moral responsibility. Their mandate may last four or eight years, but our planet earth is eternal. So we have to address this climate change phenomenon.

“We don’t have a plan B, because there is no planet B,” said Ban.

Negotiators, meanwhile, say they are trying to emphasise the economic opportunities offered by clean energy, in an attempt to challenge Trump’s fossil-friendly agenda.
 

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