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U.S. and China Vow Action on Climate Threat but Cite Needs

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:03 PM
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U.S. and China Vow Action on Climate Threat but Cite Needs
Source: New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — Some 100 heads of state gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday for an unprecedented daylong conference on combating climate change, with leaders like Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao of China acknowledging that agreement is an important goal, but also stressing their own needs.
...
Mr. Hu said his country would take four steps toward greener development, although he did not give any specific numerical targets. He said China would cut carbon dioxide emissions by a “notable margin” by 2020 compared with 2005 levels; drastically increase the size of forests; increase the use of nuclear or nonfossil fuels to 15 percent of power by 2020; and work to develop a green economy.

He did not say whether China would consider the cuts mandatory, and he also tied the emissions cuts to growth in the country’s gross domestic product, meaning the overall level of emissions could go up even if the amount per person was less.

Mr. Obama also repeated his commitment to green growth while acknowledging the domestic battles that many countries will face. The world “cannot allow the old divisions that have characterized the climate debate for so many years to block our progress,” he said, adding that forging any kind of consensus would come slowly. “And so all of us will face doubts and difficulties in our own capitals as we try to reach a lasting solution to the climate challenge.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/science/earth/23clima...
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:28 PM
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1. "...adding that forging any kind of consensus would come slowly."
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 12:28 PM by dysfunctional press
unfortunately, climate change WON'T come slowly.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:41 PM
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2. Ban Ki-moon sounded a little like JFK. Instead of demanding concessions from others,
let us ask how we can contribute to the greater good, he said in remarks to the leaders gathered in the General Assembly hall, describing the talks as moving at glacial speed. The worlds glaciers are now melting faster than human progress to protect them and us." Quite similar in style to JFK's, "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

I've wondered how popular JFK's inaugural speech was in 1961. He was a great speaker and gave a great speech, but I can imagine someone listening and thinking "I didn't elect you to tell me to think of ways that I can help the government, instead of the other way around. Maybe it was a product of the times and the fact that the "greatest generation" (with its history of sacrifice for the greater good) was running things. Now days, asking people what they can do for the country rather than what the country can do for them, would not likely be a well-received speech.

Ban Ki-moon saying essentially "Ask not what others will do for the global climate, ask what you can do for the greater good" would seem to raise the question of "Why me (or us)? You go first. I'm right behind you." Obviously dealing with global climate change requires cooperation from all nations and people, but we'll see how popular a JFK-style appeal is in modern times."
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