New York, NY (BBN)- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed to leaders of the European Union (EU) the need to wrap up the bloc’s energy and climate package by the end of the year.

In letters to the leaders of the 27 EU members and the head of the European Commission (EC), Mr. Ban emphasized that this would serve as a positive signal to the international community – and developing countries in particular – before negotiations on an ambitious successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol are expected to conclude next December in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The correspondence follows his talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EC President José Manuel Barroso last week during the 12th Francophonie Summit in Québec City, Canada.

Michele Montas, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, told reporters that the UN chief commended the EU for its years of strong leadership on global warming, which includes its flagship climate and energy policy package, according to a UN press statement.

The Secretary-General underscored that clean industry and investment have proven to be of high quality and also offer long-term profits and returns.

“Thus, the current financial turmoil is not a justification for delaying action on climate change, but rather an opportunity to address both the financial and climate change crises that we face,” the spokesperson said.