Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Climate Change is in the Air

Yesterday wrapped up the largest-ever meeting of heads of state or government to discuss the issue of climate change. Top officials from 150 nations attended the one day event at UN headquarters in New York, where Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, explained,

"The current level of effort will not suffice."

Mr. Ban urged the creation of a coalition to encourage global response to climate change and to support the major summit that will be held in Bali, Indonesia in December. All of this corresponds with the launch of the 2007 Human Development Report which focuses on climate change.

In regards to climate change and developing countries, Mr. Ban noted that better global collaboration is needed to help developing countries to increase low carbon and renewable energy: strategies that could lead to better economic growth.

The Kyoto Protocol which is the current framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions expires in 2012, and Mr. Ban stressed the need for a post-Kyoto agreement at that time. However, at an event called, “Global Voices on Climate Change” that same day, former Vice-President and environmental activist, Al Gore, had a stronger message. He explained that a new agreement must be in place by 2009--not 2012, as stated by Mr. Ban. He stressed the importance of multi-lateral meetings every three months until a new agreement is in place. “We simply cannot wait longer, we cannot continue business as usual,” a statement that is both provocative and worrisome. It's time to stop the apathy.