Leaders For Global Breakthrough

Leaders For Global Breakthrough

Denmark has officially invited 191 heads of state and government to the United Nations’ climate summit in Copenhagen next month, while US officials are urgently considering an interim climate change pact before tackling a more ambitious plan next year. Sky’s Eco Report focuses on Copenhagen hopes.

Sky News special on Copenhagen – Eco Report

Special edition focussing on Copenhagen featured on Sky Business Eco Report on 13 November 2009, repeated over the weekend. It included Andrew Petersen from PriceWaterhouse Coopers; Dominque La Fountaine from Pitt & Sherry, and Ralph Hillman from the Australian Coal Association. WWF CEO Greg Bourne made an appearance, as did ABC Carbon’s Ken Hickson. You can hear a podcast on http://www.skynews.com.au/eco/.

An AFP report in Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 2009):

Denmark has officially invited 191 heads of state and government to the United Nations’ climate summit in Copenhagen next month.

The office of the Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen on Thursday confirmed the invitations to the December gathering were made via Denmark’s diplomatic missions.

“Your personal attendance is a pivotal contribution to a successful outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference,” Rasmussen wrote in the invitation.

The official invite marks an additional push on global leaders to attend the much anticipated conference.

“Our joint efforts will be judged by the citizens of the world on December 18 when we close the conference,” the letter said.

During preparatory talks held in Barcelona last week, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer urged world leaders to attend the summit.

“I have never before witnessed a moment in time when this issue has been so high on the agenda of world leaders,” he told reporters.

“We must capitalise on that in Copenhagen by inviting world leaders to give the Copenhagen outcome the final push and get us to a result.”

Despite the fact the formal invitation was only made on Thursday, de Boer said 40 heads of state and government were already tipped to attend.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is on that list, along with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Lula Inacio da Silva.

UN climate conferences are usually attended by environment ministers rather than heads of state and government, but the stakes in Copenhagen are such that world leaders have been urged to attend.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon strongly encouraged all heads of state and government to attend the key talks in Copenhagen.

Ban “believes that direct head of state and government involvement is essential for governments to reach agreement on the core issues at the heart of a global climate change deal,” a UN statement said.

Environmental group Greenpeace also lauded the official invitation.

“Some heads of state have been ducking the question about going to the Copenhagen Climate Summit by saying no formal invitation has come from Denmark,” said Greenpeace Denmark spokesperson Tove Ryding.

“That excuse is now gone.”

The Copenhagen marathon is designed to climax a two-year process of negotiations leading to a worldwide agreement for tackling climate change beyond 2012.

Source: www.news.smh.com.au



WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) — US officials are considering an interim climate change pact before next month’s summit in Denmark, tackling a more ambitious plan next year, officials said.


The two-pronged, scaled-back strategy is being driven by lack of action on climate legislation in Congress, hampering the Obama administration’s efforts to strike an international deal this year, The Washington Post reported Friday


Backing an interim agreement would be an attempt to keep the U.N.-sponsored talks in Copenhagen and before from being seen as a failure, administration and congressional officials told the Post. At the U.N.-backed climate change summit, world leaders will consider a successor to the Kyoto protocol on climate change.


“An interim, operational deal is not meant to be seen as a substitute for a real agreement,” Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change. “It’s meant to be seen as substantive building blocks to a full, legal agreement, and perhaps the best chance of getting such an agreement.”


At the core of the interim agreement are “political commitments” from key nations outlining targets to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and includes the amount of money wealthy countries would contribute to help developing nations address global warming and reduce emissions, the Post said. Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen outlined the interim deal last month.


Leaders of the European Union, U.S. environmental groups and developing nations pushed for a binding treaty specifying how much nations would cut their greenhouse gas emissions during the next decade and the method for distributing money to developing countries.


“To the extent we can build a framework and even some of the elements that lead us to a final treaty in six months or less, that’s essential,” said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists in the Washington.


Source: www.ecoworld.com

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