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UN chief heads to Brazil for climate talks

world Updated: Nov 11, 2007 13:12 IST

UN chief Ban Ki-moon will fly into tropical Brazil on Sunday to further push his campaign for world action on climate change, after making a trip to chilly Antarctica.

The secretary general was making the snow-to-jungle voyage to see firsthand the damage man is wreaking on the environment.

On Friday, he became the first head of the UN to set foot in Antarctica.
There, he received a briefing from scientists at Chile's President Eduardo Frei Air Force base before visiting glaciers that were shrinking under the effects of global warming.

"This trip, you may call it an eco-trip, but I'm not here as a tourist," he told reporters.

"I'm here as a messenger of all the warnings on climate change," he continued. "I'm here to observe the impact of the global warming phenomena, to see for myself and to learn all I can about what's happening in Antarctica and actually around the world."

He called the impact of climate change "an emergency" and said: "If the international community does something now we will be able to prevent a further progress of the global warming."

After flying back through Chile, Ban was due to go on to Ribeirao Preto in southeastern Brazil today to examine the country's pioneering efforts to use alcohol from sugarcane in cars to limit greenhouse gases and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.