There are a number of interesting statements coming out of the Major Economies Forum today; perhaps the most impassioned is that of UK prime minister Gordon Brown. Speaking to the leaders of the 17 nations responsible for 80% of the world's carbon emissions, Brown basically said there is no plan B to COP15, and that failure to act will ensure a "catastrophic" future:No Retrospective Deal Will Work
In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history, because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course of the next 50 years and more.
If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: Once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late.
Brown went on to describe the human impacts of climate change, pointing out that by 2080 one quarter of the world's population will face water shortages, -- that's actually a conservative estimate, by the way -- and that temperatures seen in recent summer heat waves in the UK and Europe could become normally conditions for children and grandchildren born today.
We Cannot Compromise With the Earth
The prime minister added something which sounds like echoes of Bill McKibben,
We cannot compromise with the earth, we cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change, so we must compromise with one another.
Not bad. Now let's see how it translates into action and some science-based emissions targets...
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