UN Chief: Migration Adds Pressure for Climate Deal

(Cop15.dk) November 5, 2009 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday

warned that the problem of environmental refugees from developing countries is increasing the pressure for a climate change agreement at an upcoming conference in Copenhagen.

Ban said that the global talks on climate change have also reached a “critical period” in the weeks ahead of the Dec. 7-18 climate conference.

On Tuesday, African nations staged a one-day walkout from the UN climate talks in Barcelona, Spain, to press demands that negotiations focus more heavily on carbon emission cuts by rich nations. The protesting countries said they would be hardest hit by the effects of global warming.

“Negotiations have recognized that migration is a likely consequence of climate impacts. Populations will relocate due to more extreme weather, including prolonged droughts, intensive storms and wildfires,” Ban said.

“In Africa, expanding desertification is … prompting more people to leave rural areas. So far these movements have occurred within countries. But that could very well change over time,” he said.

Ban spoke at an international conference on immigration Wednesday in Greece, where he began a two-day official visit.

“Protecting vulnerable communities must be a priority,” he said. “We need action in Copenhagen. We will continue to push for the most ambitious agreement possible.”

In London on Tuesday, Ban acknowledged that agreements on firm carbon emission cuts may not be reached in Copenhagen, but that progress toward that goal could be made.

Source: Cop15.dk

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» Climate agreement needed to prevent migration: UN – AFP via Yahoo News – Nov 4, 2009

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