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EU must lead on climate action says Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on EU leaders in Brussels to speed up the adoption of new 2030 climate and energy targets and lead the global effort against climate change. He highlighted that health was particularly at risk from climate change.

EU leaders are considering a Commission proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and to increase to at least 27 percent the share of renewables in the EU energy mix. Although this would mean benefits for health and the environment, unfortunately the decision on new targets has been postponed until October due to the focus of the March European summit being on energy security and the Ukraine crisis.

HEAL’s Deputy Director Anne Stauffer participated at a gathering with Ban Ki-Moon organised by Friends of Europe, where he called for faster action on tackling climate change. The UN Secretary-General is to host the UN Climate Summit in September this year. At a meeting in Paris in late 2015, all countries are supposed to conclude a legally binding global climate agreement. He urged the EU to reach a decision on the European package as soon as possible, highlighting the fact that Europe has both the power and a responsibility to lead in the international climate negotiations.

Ban Ki-Moon underlined the importance of the recent IPCC report which shows that sea levels are rising, people’s lives and health are threatened, especially those living in low-lying areas and the most vulnerable groups in society, as well as threats to ecosystems and the growing possibility of food and water shortages.

Ban Ki-moon called for action by civil society and business as well as on issues of climate finance, a realistic carbon price and towards renewable energy and efficiency. He also cited positive examples of how measures can bring win-win for the climate and for health, e.g. by reducing black carbon emissions from diesel machines and by promoting clean fuel stoves.

Originally posted on 11 April 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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