Ban Ki Moon: ‘We sealed the deal’

COPENHAGEN–United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has just announced that the Copenhagen Accord has passed.

“Finally we sealed the deal, and it is a real deal,” he said moments ago at the UN Climate Change Conference here. “It may not be everything that everyone has hoped for, but this decision of the Conference of Parties is a beginning, an essential beginning.

“We have the foundation for the first truly global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The accord passed by consensus, which means it was accepted by a majority of the 193 nations present. All of the nations convened here have recognized the document, and individual nations now may opt to adopt its provisions fully. Those adopting the document include the 28 major nations who initially negotiated it, including the U.S. and China, two nations that produce more than half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Ban laid out the steps nations must now pursue:

— “First, we have to turn this agreement into a legally binding treaty.”

— “Second, we must launch the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, a UN system that can assure we can deliver resources to people in need.”

— Nations “will define their emission reductions to this accord.”

— Nations “will report the results of their actions to this accord.”

“While I am satisfied we have a deal here in Copenhagen, I’m aware that it is just a beginning. It will take more than this to tackle climate change, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Ban’s announcement, at 11 a.m. here, came half an hour after he had successfully mediated consensus among enough parties to pass the accord. Hours earlier, the plenary meeting had been “postponed briefly” after the accord appeared to have failed to garner significant support. A block of nations, including Sudan, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, had formed to oppose it. Small-island states appeared to join them.

As the brief postponement stretched to several hours in length, Ban convinced a number of the protesting delegations to support the document.

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