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[Yap State News Brief] UN Pushes For Stronger Climate Pact

 

Resource: Yap State News Brief/ February 25, 2013

UN HQ, NYC (AFP/PACNEWS) — The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, says he will press world leaders to agree a binding deal against climate warming by 2015.

Ban, who has stepped up warnings in recent months over the impact of accelerating temperature increases, told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday there has to be a “’strong, complete and binding” accord.

A UN conference in Doha last month extended the Kyoto Protocol, the only binding pact on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, until 2020. But the accord excludes major polluters such as China, India and the US, which refuses to ratify the protocol.

Ban said mobilizing action on climate change is a “priority”.

“’Next year, I intend to invite the leaders of the world, both individually and collectively, to mobilize the necessary political determination to adopt by 2015 a strong, complete and binding instrument on climate change,” he said.

The US President, Barack Obama, vowed to make climate change a priority when he was sworn in on Monday to a second term.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said.

One of the first tests of Mr. Obama’s resolve moved into sharper focus as the Governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman, approved a revised route for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for a final decision from US regulators on the project that would bring Canadian oil to the Texas coast.

The new route avoids Nebraska’s Sandhills, an environmentally sensitive region overlaying the Ogallala aquifer, the state’s main source of groundwater.

The pipeline will still cross the aquifer, though in a less sensitive area, according to a letter Heineman, a Republican, sent to Obama and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, informing them of his decision.

Approving the pipeline would be inconsistent with the environmental vision the President described in his second inaugural address, said Anthony Swift, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“We’re running out of time for action and the problem with Keystone XL is that it locks in a dirtier source of energy for 50 years,” he said.

 

Resource: Yap State News Brief/ February 25, 2013

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