EU Cities Announce Carbon Cuts as Ban Calls on US, China, India and Europe to Assume Leadership on Climate Change
In a press Conference at UN Headquarters, Tuesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the United States, China, India and the European Union to show "global leadership of the highest order" in tackling climate change.
He told reporters, "We have no time to lose . the United States, China, India and the European Union - all must show the way."
The same day, the EU announced the signing of an agreement, by Mayors of 350 cities across 23 European countries, to cut carbon emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020. The cuts can save around $10.4 billion in energy costs.
The agreement commits cities, including London, Paris, and Brussels, to "go beyond" a two-year pledge by national governments to cut emissions by 20 percent; increase energy efficiency by 20 percent; and to increase the use of renewable energy sources to 20 percent of all energy used by 2020.
Addressing EU counterparts by video link during the signing ceremony, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed the EU plan and said his city would aim to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
Meanwhile, Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon welcomed US President Barack Obama's commitment to work with partners at the international level to tackle issues of global concern, saying, "I'm very optimistic about his engagement; he is very proactively engaging policies on major issues." He added, "Reaching a new climate agreement this year will require direct involvement of world leaders. We need direct involvement at the highest level of Government."
The Secretary General confirmed the UN is planning a high-level climate meeting with Heads of State on the margins of the General Assembly meeting, next September. The meeting will take place in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December, which aims to reach a global conclusive agreement on climate change.