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U.N. envoy seeks climate neutrality

Figueres issues climate appeal in British op-ed.

By Daniel J. Graeber

LONDON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Climate neutrality, a notion where greenhouse gas output is equal to natural sinks, is not "nirvana" but a goal that needs backing, top climate leaders said.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Mario Molina, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, wrote in the Thursday edition of British newspaper The Guardian "bold initiatives" are needed to slow global greenhouse emissions.

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosts a climate summit in New York later this month. Figueres and Molina said the meeting is a chance to raise the bar in the global climate debate ahead of a major international conference in Paris next year.

The leaders said emissions have to be at zero, or near zero, by the end of the 21st century in order to keep climate change in check.

"Climate neutrality is not nirvana or an alternative universe," they wrote. "It is about dramatically reducing current emissions to the point where we reach a balance between those emissions entering the atmosphere and the capacity of the Earth to absorb them."

Doing this, they said, will require major investments in low-carbon energy solutions along with sound natural resource management skills.

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Last week, the International Energy Agency said growth in renewable energy generation is slowing down in part because of policy uncertainty.

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