UN Climate Summit Vital to Future Copenhagen Pact

September 10, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The outcome of this month’s United Nations climate change summit in New York, is viewed as vitally important to any meaningful deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions at the December meeting in Copenhagen. UN officials plan to push the assembled heads of state to make commitments that would set the stage for a final climate change pact.

The September 22, summit organized by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is seen as an opportunity to advance stalled negotiations on the 200 pages long treaty. The major issues, include the disparities between rich and poor nations when it comes to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

The richer nations use more and pollute more, which affects poorer nations with scant resources to deal with the consequences of food shortages, heatwaves, floods and disease.

Brazil’s Environment Minister Carlos Minc is critical of the proposed cap-and-trade bill of the United States, which only promises a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Minc says the goal should be higher. “We don’t accept that, it’s very poor.” The goal should be “closer to something beyond a 20 percent reduction,” added Minc. The American 2020 goal happens to be the weakest of any industrialized nation, but President Obama promises an 80 percent reduction by 2050. However, conservatives and energy companies are pushing hard to defeat even those reductions.

It’s not clear how much energy and resources the U.S. can expend on climate change issues in September, when health care reform is the top priority of the President’s agenda.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, “Right now we are focused on this crusade for health care reform for the country and that’s where our time and energy will go for the days ahead.” However, Salazar reiterated that the Obama administration wants to pass both bills.

Another potential roadblock to a U.N. climate change pact is that of money. During a recession, many countries have scant resources to contribute towards climate change initiatives. The European Union just reduced its financial support for developing nations from 13-24 billion euros to 2-15 billion euros.

Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat would like to see richer nations contribute about $10 billion during the Copenhagen meeting to set the stage for climate change programs by developing nations. But that figure may be overly optimistic in light of the global economic downturn.



One Response to “UN Climate Summit Vital to Future Copenhagen Pact”

  1. Ceckel on September 10th, 2009 4:09 pm

    I think it makes sense for the richer nations, who cause more global warming, to help out poorer nations in reducing their environmental food print to help tackle the issue of climate change. Global warming, after all, affects people all over the world not just in industrial nations. I thought this video, http://www.newsy.com/videos/cooling_the_planet_down, showed pretty well the impact global warming is having on the world as a whole.

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