U.N. Chief Faces Friday Deadline for Climate Plan

Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, quietly walks into the room. His demeanor is humble, despite the paparazzi that chase his every move.

His task at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, to get nearly 190 countries to agree on an environmental road map, has just been put on the clock; he has a deadline of Friday at noon.

"This is an issue affecting the whole of humanity," Ban says. "The world is changing much faster than we have thought. The science has made it quite clear. I have been trying my best to raise the awareness of this very significantly serious issue among the international community."

Delegates from around the globe have spent two weeks at the convention, meeting to hammer out details regarding what comes after the Kyoto Protocol. The debate over which countries are responsible for what, regarding the environment, is still unresolved.

One of the most talked-about divides is over target percentages to cut greenhouse gas emissions over a period of time, specifically for developed countries to commit to cutting by 25 to 40 percent by the year 2020. The U.N. and EU are in favor, and the United States, Canada and Japan are not.

The United States is the only industrialized country not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, in which nations committed to reducing their greehouse gas emissions. Ban takes into account the United States' challenges, but notes that every country has its own set of problems.

"I have discussed in depth what the challenges of the United States will be and I have urged the United States, as the most important economic power and political leader to take the lead," Ban says."

Ban says that not deciding on all the numbers now may still lead to negotiations in the future.

"I'm reasonably convinced that we'll be able to make success from this Bali meeting. Everybody is seriously engaged in this negotiation. Everybody now understands the seriousness," Ban tells ABC News.

"I hope the member states will adopt the decision of the COP13 here in Bali in the form of a Bali roadmap that will contain the many important elements, but this is the beginning of the negotiation. Real serious beginning, including the quantifiable targets, will begin next year," he says.

The goal for now is to agree to launch the negotiation, a first stage to reach a global climate agreement by 2009, so there is time for countries to ratify the new pact by 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon sees his role as a personal, as well as official, responsibility. Ban has been able to raise global awareness of this issue, calling on the support of leaders in the international community.

"The cost of inaction will be far, far greater than the cost of action, therefore I urge again that the international community must take concerted effort," he says.

Skepticism and failure do not appear to be an option for Ban. He dismisses disbelief in global warming by sharing personal accounts of visits to the Antarctic and Amazon River, and citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chang report, with scientific evidence submitted by more than 2,000 experts.

When asked what will happen if countries don't comply, Ban replies, "We work for success. I do not work for failure."

With the convention expected to end Friday, Ban again urges the political leaders of the international community to take action now, saying the capacity, financing and technology is there, and the only thing lacking is political will.

"I have urged that the member states should overcome all these national geographical boundaries," Ban says. "They must work for the interests and future of a whole humankind."

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