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In the Newsroom

September 22, 2009
Worldfocus reporting from the U.N.

Here at the U.N. on the first day of the 64th session of the General Assembly, over 100 heads of state have gathered to discuss climate change in the run-up to December’s Copenhagen conference. U.S. President Barack Obama headlined the plenary session, which featured eight world leaders.

“We risk consigning future generations to catastrophe,” said Obama. “To promote renewable energy projects and technologies in the developing world…we have put climate change at the top of our diplomatic agenda.”

The American president spoke mostly in generalities, but his message was received warmly by delegates in the General Assembly Hall. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon exhorted the international community to take “urgent action…the climate negotiations are too slow.”

“We can contribute to the greater good by limiting the global temperature rise to safe levels,” said Ban.

Expectations were high ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s speech at the United Nations summit on climate control. His speech introduced four new proposals, but the proposals lacked details on when and how China is going to implement them.

President Hu emphasized the importance of climate change and said that achieving sustainable development is an urgent matter for China, adding that his country will do its best to develop renewable and nuclear energy. He promised emissions would grow slower than economic growth in the future.

“We will endeavor to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020 from the 2005 level,” he added, and charged developing countries with supporting the world in tackling climate change.

“This is not only their responsibility, but also serves their long-term interest.”

But President Hu would not commit China to a specific target in reducing emissions.

Watch: Shao Zheng of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs discusses the Chinese president’s speech.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy delivered the most impassioned address in support of immediate legislation on climate change. The French leader also mentioned specific targets for 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries before 2050. The policy idea most strongly emphasized by Sarkozy was the transfer of financing and technology from the developed nations to underdeveloped nations. France is one of the countries most ready to implement actual legislation that would result in such a transfer of green energy in the near future.

While there will no doubt be a lag between the inspired speeches and political reality, the chorus of global leaders seemed to be speaking in unusual harmony.

“The journey is long. The journey is hard,” concluded Obama. “If we resolve to work tirelessly in common effort, then we will achieve our common purpose: A world that is safer, cleaner, and healthier than the one we found; and a future that is worthy of our children.”

– Mohammad al-Kassim and Ben Piven

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1 comment


1. About two thirds of deficit in the U.S. accrue from oil import.

2. As with “Inaction” cost, $9trillion over the next decade in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, supposedly the same is of inaction on the 21st energy bill to determine war & peace, catastrophe & prosperity. For the global economy to reign in the runaway price of fossil fuels, “Sustainable Option” will be indispensable.

3. Looking to worthless, painful and wasteful oil wars, namely, the “Original Source” of this great recession, to waste time bickering over meaningless things and drag feet on a defining energy bill are sure to shake the embryonic effect of stimulus package that is an interim measure for build-out of a new foundation.

4. As the overall oil reserve in Middle East, let alone the rest of oil-producing areas, is on the decline more than known, the region blessed with affluent sun rays also needs to ready for a new groundwork, particularly in this context AEU is beginning to concentrate on future energy and Iranian EV is rolling out recently, the countries in the region will never stand still on the occupation, that means no matter what the result is, the repetitious mistake at the cost of invaluable lives and gigantic spending will end up with a heartbreaking tragedy once again.

5. Facing a sharp downturn in fossil fuels all over the world, the world-wide overpopulation growing consistently is using up tremendous fossil fuels at an alarming pace. Especially when the own conventional resources in some dense countries is facing drastic dent, it adds up explicitly.

6. For that reason, it is widely accepted that the price of fossil fuels is expected to go up and up simply, which is behind all but major states taking a bold and speedy action in a bid to put the global economy on a sustainable and solid ground.

7. Thankfully and interestingly enough, 100s of Companies (with $13 Trillion) Are Demanding Strong Climate Deal in Copenhagen just like environmental activists, a coalition of more than 500 Global Businesses is also demanding ambitious new climate deal, and the report by Blair and the Climate Group, a London-based nonprofit organization, found a climate-change accord among all countries would spur economic growth and create as many as 10 million jobs by 2020.

8. Currently, a 21st energy bill has passed the House and is making its way through Senate. According to CBO, this bill known as more progressive generally would trim budget deficit by $24.4 billion of a net gain.

9. I think the world is eagerly looking forward to Americans’ participation, and if it were not for world-wide massive job creation, the world can not pull the economy out of this recession successfully.

10. I’d say only science and innovation can meet this challenge, and the science enough for all around the globe to live in harmony is awaiting final assembly by way of innovation. It seems to me that this great recession is pitching us a serious lesson to make sure we build a bridge for future generations, otherwise, our generation, too, is falling off the cliff.

Thank You !

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