U.N. Chief Urges World Leaders to Speed Up Climate Talks

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By Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders on Wednesday to look beyond their national interests and make sure a global deal to fight climate change is agreed at talks in Paris this year.

With just 10 days scheduled for formal negotiations before the climate summit begins in Paris on Nov. 30, work to pare back a negotiating text, still more than 80 pages long, is behind schedule and some important countries, including India and Saudi Arabia, have yet to deliver promises on emissions cuts.

"We don't have much time," Ban told a news conference with French Foreign Laurent Fabius, who will preside over the Paris talks. "I hope negotiators and ministers (will) look beyond their national interests which is why I'm asking world leaders to give a clear message to their negotiators that they should accelerate this negotiation."

Read More: Rising Number of Local Governments Pledge to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions currently fall far short of what is needed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

Just over 50 countries have so far made pledges, although French officials have said they are confident the final offers will cover 90 percent of the world's emissions. The 2 degree limit is what scientists say can prevent the most devastating consequences of climate change.