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UN meeting on climate change kicks off in Poznan
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The UN high-level meeting on climate change kicked off on Thursday in central Poland, aiming to sketch out critical elements for a global long-term goal in fighting climate change.

The participants of the high-level meeting include UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, four heads of state and government and 145 environment ministers and senior government representatives.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon addresses the meeting by calling for actions on fighting climate change and leadership by the European Union and the United States.

"We look for leadership from the European Unioon...We look for leadership from the United States," Ban said, adding that it is encouraging to hear about the incoming Barack Obama administration's plan to put alternative energy, environmentalism and climate change at the very center of America's definition of national security, economic recovery and prosperity.

Ban also hailed some developing countries' efforts in addressing climate change, saying China is dedicating one-fourth of its sizable economic stimulus plan to scale up renewable fuels, environmental protection and energy conservation.

The Poznan climate talks, which started on Dec.1 and has drawn more than 10,000 participants, constitutes a half-way mark in the negotiations on a possible deal to be agreed in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 and to take effect in 2013, the year after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Referring to the Poznan talks, Ban said the delegates here have three challenges, including a work plan for next year's negotiations, the key elements of a long-term vision in fighting climate change and a recommitment to the urgency of addressing the human threat.

Ban also called the ongoing financial recession and climate change as two crises that present the world a great opportunity to address both challenges simultaneously.

"Managing the global financial crisis requires massive global stimulus, a big part of that spending should be an investment -- an investment in a green future," Ban said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2008)

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