Visiting Washington DC, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the United States was the world’s most important actor when it comes to negotiations for a new climate change treaty, while urging the Senate to move forward on legislation.
“No country is more important than the United States in resolving this climate change issue,” Ban told reporters after meeting with congressional leaders who are debating climate change legislation. “All eyes of the world are looking to the United States and to this august body, the US Senate.”
Ban warned that while many felt the financial price of combating climate change was too high in the midst of an economic crisis, the price of inaction would be far higher.
“Inaction will mean a weakened economic recovery, a loss of global competitiveness, increased global instability and further human suffering,” said Ban. “A global agreement on the other hand will unleash investments that will do more than any single other action could do to jumpstart and sustain global economic recovery.”
While Ban said that he was aware it was unlikely the Senate would pass climate change legislation before the Copenhagen summit in December, he outlined a way that the US Senate could still help move negotiations forward.
“They may have agreed to a certain framework, which can work as a very strong political message and as a sign of commitment on the part of the United States,” he said. “That will be quite important and useful for us to get this negotiation started.”
A study in May found that the United States was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other nation over the past 150 years. In fact the study conducted by the World Resources Institute found that the US was reponsible for 29 percent of the world’s total emissions since the mid-1800s.
(09/21/2009) During the fiscal years of 2002-2008 the United States handed out subsidies to fossil fuel industries to a tune of 72 billion dollars, while renewable energy subsidies, during the same period, reached 29 billion dollars.
(09/02/2009) The UN Summit on Climate Change isn’t for three months, yet the political temperature has been rising steadily over the summer. The heat is especially focused on the three big players at the summit: China, India, and the United States.
(08/27/2009) The cost of adapting to climate change will be significantly higher than estimated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) warns a new report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London.
(08/24/2009) While the President has been bogged down for the last couple months in an increasingly histrionic health-care debate-which has devolved so far into ridiculousness that one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry-environmental decisions, mostly from the President’s appointees have still been coming fast and furious. However, while the administration started out pouring sunshine on the environment (after years of obfuscated drudgery under the Bush administration), they soon began to move away from truly progressive decisions on the environment and into the recognizable territory of playing it safe-and sometimes even stupid.
(06/22/2009) Twenty leading scientists have called on President Obama “to exercise maximum personal leadership” in tackling the threat posed by climate change.
(05/31/2009) In the past 150 years, the United States has emitted more greenhouse gas emissions than any other nation in the world, according to a recent report by Greenpeace. In fact, US emissions account for 29 percent of the world’s total since the mid-1800s. The US emitted 328,264 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) in the past 150 years, which is over 3 times the amount emitted by China in the same century-and-a-half.