From: Russell Blinch and Christopher Buckley, Reuters, CANCUN, Mexico
Published December 8, 2010 07:36 AM

U.N.'s Ban urges climate deal, short of perfect

Saying the health of the planet is at stake, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged 190 nations meeting in Mexico on Tuesday to agree to steps to fight climate change that fall short of a perfect deal.

"We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good," Ban told a first session of environment ministers at the November 29 to December 10 talks in the Caribbean resort of Cancun where rich and poor nations are split over cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

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After U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders failed to work out a U.N. climate treaty at a 2009 summit in Copenhagen, Ban repeatedly stressed lower ambitions for the Cancun talks despite calls by some nations for radical action.

Ban told the ministers: "the stability of the global economy, the well-being of your citizens, the health of our planet, all this and more depend on you."

The Cancun talks are seeking a package deal to set up a fund to oversee climate aid, ways to slow deforestation, steps to help poor countries adapt to climate change and a mechanism to share clean technologies such as wind and solar power.

Some developing nations, with Bolivia the most outspoken, have said that far more radical action by the rich is needed now to cut greenhouse gas emissions and deadly floods, droughts, desertification and rising sea levels.

Speaking on behalf of Africa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he was "deeply dismayed" by the loss of momentum since Copenhagen. "Every day of delay is being paid for by the lives of countless numbers of Africans," he said.

Photo shows United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing the media at a news conference during climate talks in Cancun December 7, 2010. Saying the health of the planet is at stake, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged 190 nations meeting in Mexico on Tuesday to agree to steps to fight climate change without holding out for a perfect deal.
REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AR1OI20101208

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