A Summit of Firsts Gives Energy to Climate Talks
It is the first time ever that a President of China has addressed the UN General Assembly; it is the first appearance of the new Japanese Prime Minister; and it is the first time US President Obama has addressed the world on climate change.
“Political leaders across the spectrum have affirmed the need for rapid action on climate change,” said James P. Leape, Director General of WWF International. “A broad consensus is emerging that action on climate is necessary, achievable, and desirable.”
In his final summary, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized that any future climate agreement should be comprehensive, ambitious, and binding.
“Ban Ki-Moon has played a critical role in creating this new political resolve,” said Jim Leape.
“Political leaders have said that they take the issue seriously, and we will hold them to their promises because there is a tremendous amount of work to be done before December,” said Jim Leape. “We now need to see them ensure that their bold words result in action by their Ministers and negotiators.”
“Heads of State and finance ministers of the 20 biggest economies have the perfect opportunity to hammer out solutions to the finance question as they meet in Pittsburgh at the end of this week,” said Jim Leape.
“The one thing that political leaders cannot afford anymore is to sit back and wait for others to move first.”
Only 15 negotiation days remain before the governments of the world assemble in Copenhagen to agree the new climate treaty. Negotiators meet in Bangkok for the next two weeks, and in Barcelona during the first week of November.
“In Bangkok we will find out if the resolve of the Heads of State reaches the negotiators, and if they manage to increase speed and quality of the negotiations,” said Kim Carstensen, Leader of the WWF global climate initiative, who will also attend the Bangkok meeting.
The increasingly strong interest of the global public became manifest through a global wake-up call organized be the TckTckTck campaign in which millions of people participated in over 3000 cities all around the planet. Business, investors, and trade unions joined in an unprecedented alliance to demand legal certainty and strong action on creating a new, low-carbon economy.
Heads of State and their negotiators now have all the mandate they need, said WWF.
- Martin Hiller, (English, German, French)
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