U.N. chief sees major commitment to climate change
Reuters News Service, Sept. 25, 2007
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a one-day high-level meeting on climate change on Monday was a turning point in the battle against global warming.
"What I heard today is a major political commitment for a breakthrough in climate change in
A meeting scheduled in
"Science has spoken clearly," Ban said at a final news conference. "Now we need a political answer."
Calling Monday's gathering a "sea change in the response to climate change," Ban acknowledged that negotiations that will begin in
Asked specifically what would happen if U.S. President George W. Bush continued to oppose mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions in favor of voluntary ones, Ban replied, "I have high expectations of all countries, including ... the
Bush did not attend the climate meeting but dined later with Ban and representatives from countries that emit the most greenhouse gases, as well as those countries most at risk from climate change.
Before the dinner, Bush said he had discussed the issue with Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva and that he had agreed to attend a
"I assured the president (Lula) that the event we're having in
Earlier, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said the planet would be better off if people cared more about global warming and less about O.J. Simpson and Paris Hilton.
Gore, the star of the Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," joined the head of the United Nations and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to urge quick global action to stem emissions that heat the Earth.
But Gore drew applause when he mentioned the seeming
"We have to overcome the paralysis that has prevented us from acting and focus clearly and unblinkingly on this world crisis, rather than spending time on Anna Nicole Smith and O.J. Simpson and Paris Hilton," Gore said.
The session was meant to gather momentum for the meeting in
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice represented the
"Put simply, the world needs a technological revolution," Rice said. "Existing energy technologies alone will not meet the global demand for energy while also reducing emissions to necessary levels."
Lo Sze Ping of the environmental group Greenpeace
These targets, Lo said, are "stronger and more ambitious than in certain industrialized countries."
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, representing countries that emit 15 percent of the world's climate-warming carbon dioxide, told Reuters: "We can succeed only if we have the
Bush has rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which requires 36 industrial nations to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 5 percent from 1990 levels by 2012, when it expires.
He contends the accord unfairly burdens rich countries while exempting developing countries like