If you’re a world leader and you won’t be in Copenhagen next week you might feel out of the loop. Currently 98 heads of state have agreed to attend the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen—nearly half of the 192 member nations of the UN.
“It gives me a strong feeling that we are on the right track,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen told a news conference today.
Invitations were sent out last month and the first count was 65 heads of state. But just last week the summit succeeded in committing arguably the two most important world leaders in terms of climate change to attend the summit: President of the United States, Barack Obama, and Premier of China, Wen Jiabao.
Even the Prince of Wales is showing to give a keynote speech during the summit’s second week. Prince Charles is known for his passionate advocacy for environmental stewardship, in particular his work on saving rainforests worldwide.
Although the summit hasn’t released a list, other confirmed leaders attending include Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown; President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, though he may receive a less-than-warm welcome. After China and the US have stepped forward, Canada is now seen as possibly the biggest obstruction to a positive deal.
(11/24/2009) Today may mark a turning point for a successful negotiation at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen or it may just be another blip in the up-and-down news cycles that have preceded the summit for months.
(11/17/2009) 8.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide was emitted into the earth’s atmosphere in 2008, a growth of 2 percent despite the economic crisis. This averages out to each person contributing a record high of 1.3 tons of carbon, according to a report in the journal Nature Science. While the global recession slowed the growth of fossil fuel emissions for the first time this decade, it did not lower emissions altogether.
(11/16/2009) If Lord Bertrand Russell were still alive today, he would most likely be appalled by the Global North’s glaring inaction on climate change. One of the twentieth century’s most eminent philosophers, Russell was also an outspoken critic of war and irrationality. In 1966, just as the United States was ramping up the war in Vietnam, Russell helped to establish a novel legal tribunal which condemned war crimes committed in South East Asia.