PARIS - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says only days are left for negotiators to strike a deal on fighting climate change at a Paris conference later this year.
This is not the first time that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has raised the alarm at the slow pace of climate negotiations, but during a press conference in Paris, he said time is running out.
“The member states and negotiators have been doing business as usual… they’ve been repeating what they have been repeating during the last 20 years. We don’t have time to waste, we don’t have time to lose. Climate change is happening," said Ban Ki-moon.
Ban spoke as he wound up a two-day trip to Paris, where he met with French President Francois Hollande.
The French capital hosts a key climate summit in December. The United Nations wants countries to agree to stop temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Scientists say the world could face catastrophic storms, floods, droughts and rising sea levels if temperatures rise much more than that. Last week, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, reported that July was the hottest month on record worldwide - and 2015 has been the world’s hottest year.
Ban called on countries to set aside their national interests and for negotiators to accelerate talks to reach a deal.
Speaking to French ambassadors on Tuesday, President Hollande said a climate change deal can only happen if richer nations agree to pay the more than $110 billion annually that is needed for developing countries to transition to renewable energy.
Separately, Ban said European and other countries must do much more to end the current migration crisis. He said refugees and other migrants making perilous journeys to reach safer shores should not have to encounter new challenges once they arrive.