The New York gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change was intended to build momentum for the Paris 2015 UNFCCC summit. In Paris, negotiators expect to complete a new international agreement on cutting global warming emissions and tackling climate change. “Climate change is the defining issue of our age,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the meeting. “It is defining our present. Our response will define our future.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened the climate talks by saying:
It’s about time that world leaders come to the United Nations to recognize this threat in the way that it requires and demands…And it gives me hope that this global summit may actually produce the leadership that is necessary to try to come together and move the needle, to take advantage of the small window of time — and I mean that — the small window of time that we have left in order to be able to prevent the worst impacts of climate change from already happening.
Climate Action – the Good and the Bad
President Barack Obama – the good Obama is determined to continue his strong leadership leading up to the December 2015 Paris Summit. In his UN speech on September 23, he was clear that all world leaders “have to do more”:
No one can stand on the sidelines….We can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation, developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass….We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair.
“By early next year,” Obama said, “the administration will outline broad goals for cutting US emissions after 2020. This is something that every nation has pledged to do by next spring in preparation for the international climate talks.”
Leonardo DiCaprio – the good
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently referred to Leonardo DiCaprio as the “new voice for climate advocacy.” Both Ban and DiCaprio were in Sunday’s 400,000-strong People’s Climate March in New York City.
As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at Climate Change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that Climate Change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.
DiCaprio’s appearance at the Climate Summit in New York.
The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet… is now.
I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty.
Stephen Harper – the bad Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on the wrong side of the mounting climate mobilization movement.
It’s a well-known fact that Harper has for years pledged to follow the American lead on curbing carbon emissions. He contends that Canada’s greenhouse-gas policy should be close to that of the United States. “Canada cannot act alone because our economy is closely integrated with that of the United States,” has argued Prime Minister Harper. Fair enough.
Obama’s flurry of climate actions has now put tremendous pressure on Canada to step up its efforts on climate change. The ball is undeniably in Harper’s court. It’s your move Mr. Harper.
Five years ago in Copenhagen both countries committed to the same specific goal of reducing carbon emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. It appears that Obama’s new plan will keep the United States on its 2020 target. Canada’s national goal for is 612 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere in the year 2020. But current policies have Canada on track to emit 734 million tonnes of carbon into the air that year.
Tony Abbott – the bad In Australia, tens of thousands took to the streets just ahead of the Climate Summit in New York with marches in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and Darwin. Protesters denounced Abbott for not attending the New York gathering and his dismantling the good work done to date by previous governments.
Abbott’s ridiculous statements about climate change have been well publicized. In September of 2009, while attending a public function, he said that the science of human-caused climate change was “crap”. After a recent meeting with US President Barack Obama, Abbott told reporters he took climate change very seriously. But that might just be “crap”
Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a blogger and an Climate Activist. Rolly has been published in several online publications – Climate Change Guide, World Daily, Examiner, The Canadian, 350Ottawa, ClimateMama, MyEarth360, GreenDivas, The Elephant, Countercurrents, Georgian Bay News.
Some of Rolly’s articles have also appeared in newspapers such as The Hill Times and the Kingston Whig.