The United Nations met today in a special session to discuss climate change in New York. Jennifer Morgan, climate and energy program director of the World Resources Institute (WRI), today issued the following statement.
“Today’s high-level UN meeting kick starts the final stretch of climate negotiations with statements from major economies signaling global political momentum toward Copenhagen.”
“Of particular interest, the meeting marked the first ever address by a Chinese president to the UN General Assembly where President Hu Jintao used the opportunity to announce that his country is ready to establish a carbon intensity target. This is significant and shows China’s seriousness about acting on climate change.”
“China’s announcement builds on statements from India earlier this week that it would propose and implement significant energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation in an effort to curb its emissions. Furthermore, Japan, one of the world’s most efficient economies, announced today a deeper emissions target and intention to pass cap-and-trade and renewable energy laws shortly.”
“The major missing piece now is action from the United States. President Obama’s speech shows that he understands the enormous detrimental impacts the world faces from inaction on climate change. Now the world needs him to put the words into action and work with the Senate to ensure passage of a strong climate bill. Just a few months ago President Obama said, ‘The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy - it’s a choice between prosperity and decline. The nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.’ Other countries seem to be getting the message sooner.”
“The announcements from other major economies should give President Obama and the Senate the confidence to act before Copenhagen. The world has been hearing, ‘Yes, we can; ‘Yes, we must,’ but now needs to hear, ‘Yes, we will.’”
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