UN Secretary-General visits melting Arctic ice

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Thu 03 Sep 2009 11:15, Last updated: 2009-09-03
Arctic ice is melting at twice the rate of the rest of the Earth

The UN Secretary-General has delivered an urgent climate message to the world while standing on rapidly melting icecaps.

Ban Ki-moon travelled to the Arctic to see for himself the devastating effects of climate change on the ice and called for world leaders to come to an agreement at the crucial climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

He said: “I feel the power of nature and, at the same time, a sense of vulnerability. This is a common resource for human beings, and we must do all we can to preserve this Arctic ice.”

Scientists based at the Arctic told the Secretary-General the Arctic ice was melting faster than in any other area as a consequence of climate change.

"We must stop this from further happening. Unless we fight climate change, unless we stop this trend, we'll have devastating consequences for humanity,” added Ki-moon.

Yesterday the Secretary-General visited the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard. The vault, built last year, is home to huge numbers of seed samples of the world’s most valuable crops. The vault protects the seeds from the threats of climate change, disease and natural disasters.

The Vault can survive without electricity if needed because of thick rock walls, protecting the seed samples.

"Sustainable food production may not begin in this cold Arctic environment, but it does begin by conserving crop diversity," said Ki-moon.

The purpose of the visit was to increase pressure on world leaders, who meet in Copenhagen in December, to try to reach an agreement on development of the Kyoto Protocol on carbon emissions.

On 21st September, the UN will launch Global Climate Week to raise awareness of the conference through youth assemblies, tree planting drives and a climate neutral day.

Ki-moon said: “Reaching an agreement - intended to go into effect when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2015 - in the Danish capital is the moral and political responsibility required of the leaders of the world.

"We do not have any time to lose. We must seal the deal in Copenhagen in December, a deal which will be comprehensive, equitable and balanced, so that both industrialised and developing countries, and all citizens of the world, can live in an environmentally sustainable way."

The visit comes on the day the WWF released a study showing one-quarter of the world’s population is likely to be affected by rising ocean levels. The ‘Arctic Climate Feedbacks’ report shows Arctic ice is heating up at twice the rate of the rest of the Earth.

”Simply put, if we do not keep the Arctic cold enough, people across the world will suffer the effects,” says Martin Sommerkorn, the WWF’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, who covers the Arctic.

Communities, businesses and individuals are being encouraged to add their voices to the UN-led 'Seal the Deal!' campaign by signing the Climate Petition at www.sealthedeal2009.org.

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Comments about UN Secretary-General visits melting Arctic ice

The sky in Beijing & man-made climate change.
hsr0601, OTHER around 4 years, 3 months ago

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