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UN Chief Says All Countries Should Take Responsibility for Climate Change

Industrialized nations have been blamed for a large percentage of the emissions said to be causing global warming, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says it is time for developing nations to take more responsibility for combating climate change. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok, where Mr. Ban spoke on his way to climate change talks in Bali.

Nations such as China and India have resisted wider emissions control out of fear that new regulations will hamper the fast-growing industries that power their breakneck economic growth.

Poorer nations have traditionally accused the United States and Canada of being the biggest polluters and they say the rich nations should take the lead in cutting emissions.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed dignitaries at the U.N. Asia headquarters in Bangkok on his way to the Bali climate change conference. He said developing nations should accept greater responsibility for their emissions.

"I support the principle but differentiated responsibilities when it comes to climate change. Yet this principle does not mean that developing countries should do nothing. The credibility of the negotiations that began in Bali hinges on the participation in the developing world," he said.

The U.N. chief said any deal should include agreements for poorer countries to be provided with money and other assistance they will need to adapt to clean energy technologies.

He also said developing countries should change their view of environmental protection issues.

"The developing world needs to stop viewing climate change as a solely environmental issue and begin approaching it as a development concern. Our change in climate is a result of unsustainable development practices and it is a serious threat to human progress everywhere, including right here in Asia," he said.

He said that if nations succeed in reaching a deal on climate change, they could transform a looming environmental catastrophe into an era of sustainable and inclusive growth for people everywhere.

The U.N. chief is to arrive Tuesday in Bali.