Extreme weather is new normal, U.N.'s Ban tells climate talks

Tue Dec 4, 2012 9:51am EST
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* Talks to agree extension to Kyoto protocol have stalled

* Ban Ki-moon urges nations to cast off apathy, agree a deal

* Says wants Kyoto to stay platform to fight climate change

* Wants rich nations to step up climate change aid to poor

By Barbara Lewis and Alister Doyle

DOHA, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Extreme weather is the new normal and poses a threat to the human race, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday, as he sought to revive deadlocked global climate change talks.

Ban's intervention came as efforts to agree a symbolic extension of the U.N. Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that obliges about 35 developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, looked to be faltering.

In a speech to almost 200 nations meeting in Doha to try to get a breakthrough, Ban said a thaw in Arctic sea ice to record lows this year, superstorms and rising sea levels were all signs of a crisis.

"The abnormal is the new normal," he told delegates at the Nov. 26-Dec. 7 talks. He said signs of change were apparent everywhere and "from the United States to India, from Ukraine to Brazil, drought (has) decimated essential global crops".   Continued...