Climate deal in sight

Friday, December 18, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Copenhagen - World leaders on Friday afternoon continued to engage in frantic talks in a bid to broker a historic deal to fight global warming at the United Nations (UN) climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Information coming out of the plenary room was that several other major nations including China, Russia and Britain were all in agreement that some sort of a deal needs to be brokered in Copenhagen before the end of the day.

Brazilian President Luiz Lula Da Silva called on developed nations to guarantee that they would use their resources to help poor nations fight climate change.

Da Silva told his peers that the issue of global warming was not only about the money but a responsibility of all nations to save the planet.
Brazil has committed $66 billion by 2020 to help the world deal with climate change.

South Africa, Australia and Mexico have also expressed their desire to see the summit produce positive results in light of rumours that some nations were pushing for an extended conference allowing a climate deal to be signed at a similar conference in Mexico next year.

"Copenhagen has to produce some results. We believe there is a political will to do so," Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said during a live BBC debate.

Her sentiments were echoed by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who said his country was more than willing to pledge e100 billion by 2020 towards mitigation and adaptation.

Developing countries are demanding that rich nations promise much deeper emission cuts and substantial money to help them fight climate change and green their economies.

At stake is a deal to transform global economies by putting greater curbs on planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, from 2013 after Kyoto Protocol climate regime ends.

Meanwhile, United States President Barack Obama called on world leaders to act boldly and decisively to address global warming. Obama said as the world's biggest economy and largest emitter of carbon, the US, had the responsibility to address the threat of climate change.

"We are convinced that changing the way we produce energy is essential to America's future economy and that of the world," said Obama. He said America would continue with its mitigation efforts and was committed to decisive and legitimate target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"It is for this reason that we have committed to cut our emissions by 17 percent by 2020 an up to 80 percent by 2050," Obama said.

The US has committed to contributing $10 billion to help fight global warming as well as being part of the $100 billion global funding to help developing nations adapt and mitigate climate change.

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