Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Some hope, some skepticism, as UN climate summit opens
Published on 8 Dec. 2009 12:25 AM IST
Print  Text Size

The UN climate summit, whose decisions will greatly impact planet Earth and future generations, opened in the Danish capital Monday with a call by the host nation to lay aside national differences, while poor countries urged rich ones to take action instead of making speeches. Over 15,000 government delegates, NGOs and media gathered at the Bella Centre in the Danish capital for a crucial two-week meet to deal with what has been called “the defining crisis of our age” by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. However, a treaty that can tackle the climate change that is already affecting the world seems far away. Denmark’s Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard, the new president of the conference, acknowledged as much when she said there would be no legal treaty at the end of this summit, only a “political declaration” that would, she hoped, lead to a treaty. But industrialised and developing countries remained as far apart as before on the crucial issue - who should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), by when and by how much. The so-called BASIC grouping of countries - Brazil, India, South Africa and China - has proposed what essentially amounts to industrialised countries cutting their GHG emissions 40-45 percent by 2020. Hedegaard described this to IANS Monday “as a good starting point” for negotiations. In turn, developed countries, want emerging economies to commit to a date by which their GHG emissions will peak. The so-called “peaking year” approach is “completely unacceptable” to India, a member of the government delegation said immediately after the inauguration ceremony of the summit of 192 nations. Making their position clear, the Group of 77 countries and China said rich countries must curb their pollution instead of asking poor countries to act. Asked to state the Indian government’s position on the opening day of the summit, a senior member of the official delegation told IANS that it had been reflected in the G77 statement. Sudan now chairs the G77. Its ambassador Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping said: “The emission reduction targets indicated so far by developed countries fall far short of what is required, especially considering that their emissions have continued to increase.” While the bickering restarts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Rajendra Pachauri reminded delegates at the opening session that according to science, “global GHG emissions must peak by 2015 and then decline if temperature rise is to be kept within two degrees Celsius as endorsed by the G8 leaders” a few months back. That move was endorsed by the G20, including India. The time for debate is over, Pachauri warned. “This conference must lead to action.” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, prime minister of Denmark, said at the inauguration: “We have to make difficult but necessary decisions” and called upon delegates to “translate political will into a strong common approach”. He accepted that “we have different perspectives on framing and precise content of such an agreement (to tackle climate change) and no one is underestimating the difficulties”, but said the “political resolve to have a common agreement that is just and equitable, effective and operational, is manifest”. UNFCCC chief Yvo de Boer reminded his audience of exactly what was at stake by relating the story of a six-year-old boy who lost his parents and younger brother in a cyclone. “The clock has ticked down to zero. After two years of negotiations, the time has come to deliver,” he said. According to de Boer, the “bottom layer” of a Copenhagen agreement “consists of an agreement on prompt implementation of action on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and capacity building. “The second layer consists of ambitious emission reduction commitments and actions. It also includes commitments on start-up finance in the order of $10 billion a year, as well as long-term finance. “The icing on the cake consists of a shared vision on long-term cooperative action on climate change and a long-term goal.” Call for action at key UN climate change summit COPENHAGEN, DEC 7 (DPA): The mammoth UN conference in Copenhagen was preceded by a joint leader article, published by 56 newspapers in 45 countries, calling on world leaders to place “decisive action” ahead of mutual recrimination. Without action, “climate change will ravage our planet, and, with it, our prosperity and security”, the article said, citing record warm years, the melting Arctic ice cap “and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices”. The article was drafted by a team from London’s The Guardian newspaper during more than a month of consultations with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. It was carried by leading English, Chinese, Arabic, French and Russian newspapers - including The Hindu in India, Le Monde in France, the Toronto Star, the Botswana Guardian and The Miami Herald. “We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics,” the article said. “If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too,” the commentators wrote. The conference has received a major boost with the planned arrival of US President Barack Obama for the final day of the conference. However, the newspaper editorialists noted that “even now the world finds itself at the mercy of American domestic politics, for the president cannot fully commit to the action required until the US Congress has done so”. The 12-day conference in the Danish capital aims to keep global warming in check through huge emission cuts by the world’s richest nations and massive aid to the world’s poorest. It has been described by organisers as “the biggest show on earth today”.

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2