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UN head to visit Greenland as warm-up for climate talks

When he visits Greenland next week Ban Ki-moon will join a long list of world leaders who have gone to the country to witness the effects of climate change
Where once there was ice, world leaders now roam

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Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, will begin a three-day visit to Greenland on Tuesday in order to get a first-hand look at the effects of climate change, the Office of the Danish Prime Minister announced yesterday.

The visit is part of preparations for the next UN climate change summit in New York in September.

During the trip Ban will visit remote Arctic communities to see the effects of climate change on the people who live there.

SEE RELATED: Canaries of climate change

Ban will travel to Greenland, a self-governing member of the Danish kingdom, together with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish PM. There, they will join with Aleqa Hammond, Greenland’s premier, who will co-host Ban during the visit.

This is the first visit of a sitting secretary-general to Greenland, but the country has frequently hosted high-level delegations that have called on the country to experience the effect of climate change on the Arctic environment.

Prior to the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen, the Danish government, as part of a “seeing is believing” philosophy, gathered policy-makers in Greenland in order to conduct negotiations in a setting that was heavily affected by climate change and which was far-removed from the press.