U.N.'s Ban says climate change pace "alarming"

HELSINKI Wed May 27, 2009 5:14am EDT

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to a reporter after arriving in Vantas, Finland in this May 25, 2009 file photo. The impact of climate change is accelerating at an ''alarming'' pace and urgent action must be taken, Ban said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Lehtikuva/Sari Gustafsson

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to a reporter after arriving in Vantas, Finland in this May 25, 2009 file photo. The impact of climate change is accelerating at an ''alarming'' pace and urgent action must be taken, Ban said on Wednesday.

Credit: Reuters/Lehtikuva/Sari Gustafsson

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - The impact of climate change is accelerating at an "alarming" pace and urgent action must be taken, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.

"What is frightening is that the scientists are now reviewing their predictions, recognizing that climate change impact is accelerating at a much faster pace," Ban said, referring to the ongoing fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"This is very serious and alarming. That is why I have been urging that if we take any action, we must take action now regardless of where you are coming from. Rich and poor countries, we must address this issue together," Ban told a seminar.

The call for urgency echoed similar comments by the U.N. chief at a business conference on climate policy last weekend in Denmark. Business leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss long-term climate policies, ahead of a U.N. conference in December meant to forge a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

(Reporting by Brett Young; Editing by Farah Master)

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