UN chief confers with world leaders on climate change

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon has been speaking to numerous world leaders on the heels of the historic United Nations conference in Copenhagen which recently wrapped up with nations reaching a political agreement on climate change, UN officials said on Thursday.

Following the summit's end less than two weeks ago, Ban has made calls to leaders from countries such as China, the United States, Ethiopia, the Maldives, Grenada, France, Brazil and Australia, the officials said.

The Copenhagen Accord was struck in the Danish capital on Dec. 19 after member states were locked in intensive talks on how to deal with the problem of climate change, and the United Nations seeks to play an important role in promoting consensus among member states, observers here said.

It aims to jump-start immediate action on climate change and guide negotiations on long-term action. It also includes an agreement to work toward curbing global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, efforts to reduce or limit emissions, and pledges to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars a year for developing countries to combat climate change.

"While I am satisfied that we sealed a deal, I am aware that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as many have hoped," Ban told reporters after returning to New York from Denmark.

The two-week-long UN conference in Copenhagen, attended by more than 100 heads of State and government, was marked by interruptions in negotiations due to divisions between States over a wide range of issues.

"The leaders were united in purpose, but they were not united in action," Ban said, exhorting world leaders to act in concert to ensure that a legally binding treaty is reached next year.

Nonetheless, he said that the talks "represent a beginning -- an essential beginning," because without nations hammering out a deal in Copenhagen, the financial and technical support for poorer nations agreed upon would not take immediate effect.

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