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Ban Ki-Moon calls for 'unconditional' release of Japanese hostages

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the "unconditional" release of two Japanese citizens held by Islamic State militants, the Kyodo news agency reports.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban is "obviously very concerned about the fate of these two hostages," as he is about the "fate of all people" taken by armed groups in Iraq and Syria.

North Korea rejects US plans for UN human rights push

A North Korean envoy to the United Nations says the country "totally rejects" the US push to put Pyongyang's humans rights record on the UN Security Council's agenda, Reuters have reported.

Earlier today, members of the UN Security Council voted to override China's objections and formally add the situation in North Korea, including allegations of grave human rights abuses, to the council's agenda.

UN diplomat Kim Song accused the United States of raising the issue as a political weapon to pressure North Korea. He said a decision on how to respond to the council decision would be made in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.

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Britain 'can't tackle climate change by itself'

Britain has to work with the rest of the world in tackling climate change, Energy Secretary Ed Davey told ITV News, after a major report highlighted the "severe risks" of rising temperatures.

Mr Davey said: "It shows how urgently we have to act. It needs far greater political will, even in the UK from some political parties, but it needs that political will to be shown around the world".

Business body calls for clear climate change policy

The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, which represents businesses ranging from BT to Thames Water, Shell, EDF and Unilever, called on governments to set ambitious global climate targets.

Philippe Joubert, chairman of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, said:

Many businesses, such as those represented in the Corporate Leaders Group are already investing in a low-carbon future.

But if we are to unlock the scale of change that we need, we must have a level of policy clarity equal to this scientific clarity.

– Philippe Joubert, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group

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Governments must 'phase out coal and oil use now'

Governments need to pay attention and phase out coal and oil now or end up doing it later at a much higher cost, Greenpeace's head of international climate politics has said, after a major report highlighted risk of climate change.

For scientists, there is nothing vague about how to deal with climate change.

[Those] who seize the potential of renewable energy will leap ahead to a sustainable future.

– Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace

World 'ill-prepared' in tackling climate change

Climate change is happening, it is almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the UN's panel on climate science has said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was at the news conference, stressed that "if we act now, immediately and decisively we have the means to build better and more sustainable world.

He later said: "Inaction of climate action will cost much, much more. This climate action and economic growth are two sides of just one coin".

Ed Davey calls for new climate deal after major report

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey Credit: PA

We must act on climate change now, the Energy Secretary has said, after the publication of a major report on climate change.

Ed Davey, said: "It sends a clear message that should be heard across the world - we must act on climate change now.

"It's now up to the politicians - we must safeguard the world for future generations by striking a new climate deal in Paris next year."

IPCC chair warns 'little time' to limit temperature rise

The scientific case for prioritising action on climate change was clearer than ever, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) told a conference, after a new UN report was published.

We have little time before the window of opportunity to stay within 2C of warming closes.

To keep a good chance of staying below 2C, and at manageable costs, our emissions should drop by 40% to 70% globally between 2010 and 2050, falling to zero or below by 2100.

We have that opportunity, and the choice is in our hands.

– Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC
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