Carbon cuts for power plants will spur world’s tackling of global warming, says UN chief, adding a call for finance



UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon praised the United States’ newly-launched clean power plan on Tuesday and said it would ramp up climate action by other countries.

Speaking to reporters alongside President Barack Obama at the White House, the South Korean diplomat said climate change topped their agenda, ahead of the Islamic State and an Iranian nuclear deal.

“I’d like to congratulate and highly commend your visionary and bold leadership announcement yesterday on a clean power plan,” said Ban.

“The US can and will be able to change the world in addressing a climate phenomenon.”

The Obama administration announced plans on Monday to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal and gas-fired plants by 32% below 2005 levels by 2025.

Climate Action Tracker, a joint research outfit, called it an “important step” in meeting its climate pledge of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, but not alone sufficient to meet the goal.

Report: What does the US clean power plan mean for coal?

Almost 200 nations are set to strike a global warming agreement in Paris in December after over two decades of trying.


Ban said the flagship policy would drive job creation and create “huge dividends at home in the US economy” as it moves to boost renewables generation of the country’s electricity needs to 20% by 2030.

He and Obama also discussed the thorny issue of climate finance.

Rich countries promised to mobilise $100 billion in annual climate-fighting funds by 2020 for poor countries, but it is unclear how much is flowing.

Report: G20 could determine if rich meet climate finance promise

Powerbrokers from the presidents of France and Germany to chiefs of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were “trying to create a political credible trajectory of $100 billion to the world, so this can be supported at COP21 in Paris,” Ban said.

French environment minister Segolene Royal, whose country is hosting the annual round of climate talks supported Obama’s “move to fight powerful lobbies” who brake climate action efforts.

“To those who doubted the sincerity of the US’s will, this is a positive response which shows the mobilisation of the American administration,” she said from South Africa, Le Monde reported.

Now, Royal is just waiting for the “financial contribution of the US, particularly on the $100 billion promised by industrialised countries and on the green fund,” she said.