"No right to gamble with fate of future generations" on climate: Ban

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Ban Ki-moon (left) and Patricia Espinosa brief reporters. Photo: UN

"We have no right to gamble with the fate of future generations" when it comes to mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.

That's according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, a year on from the historic agreement to keep temperature rises due to carbon emissions, below 2 degrees Celsius.

He said that "low-emission development and climate resilience" will also advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Matthew Wells has more.

Secretary-General Ban said that 193 countries had strongly supported the Paris Agreement because they realized their self-interest lay in the common good and the "shared prosperity" of protecting the planet.

He said that the UN would continue to help countries implement the agreement, which has now come into force, adding that "the quicker we act, the more we gain."

He urged all countries to increase the ambition of their carbon-reducing national climate plans, so that global emissions could peak by 2020, "and decline rapidly from then on."

He said a broad coalition at all levels of society and the global economy had made the Paris Agreement possible, but now was the time to translate words into action.

"Cities, citizens and CEOs were crucial to mobilizing political support for the Paris Agreement. They are also among the most visionary and ambitious actors building low-carbon, resilient economies that will prosper…I call on civil society organizations to continue to keep governments accountable to their promises."

Mr Ban said the UN had to continue advancing "the moral case for action" and added that he was confident his successor would "continue to be a strong champion for the most vulnerable."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'17"

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