The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced recently that the planned UN climate talks, which are to begin in less than ten weeks, in Copenhagen, Denmark, were in danger of failing for the third consecutive year, if countries did not come to an agreement on the nature of the problems at hand and their potential solutions. Brown is one of the first and the few leaders of the world who offered to go to Copenhagen this year with a clear intention of signing the treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in a couple of years, the BBC News
In an interview with Newsweek magazine, the PM said that there was essentially no way to revert the catastrophic damage that was done to the planet unless world leaders came to an understanding this year in Copenhagen. The 2009 UN Climate Meeting is among the last opportunities to set into motion plans that would mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change, before the situation becomes too desperate. Brown's efforts come just a couple of weeks after the UN's Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, traveled to the Arctic in an attempt to draw global attention to the damage in the area.
“What has now become clear is that the push toward decarbonization will be one of the major drivers of global and national economic growth over the next decade. And the economies which embrace the green revolution earliest will reap the greatest economic rewards,” the official said in the interview. He also underlined the fact that the vast majority of climate scientists around the world, apart from those with oil corporate interests in mind, said that carbon cuts needed to be done immediately. Additionally, Brown pointed out, a low-carbon economy might also be a route out of the current economic recession.
The PM also said that such a switch would drive up energy costs for the population, but emphasized the fact that, if measures to mitigate global warming were not taken, costs would go up considerably either way. He also shared that, if it were necessary, he would go to Copenhagen himself to push other leaders into action, even though such meetings were usually only conducted by environment ministers.
“Gordon Brown has injected a note of urgency into the Copenhagen talks by agreeing to attend. At the moment there is a huge gap between what needs to be done and what world leaders are promising to do,” John Sauven, the director of Greenpeace, said of the Prime Minister's attitude. The UK is among the first rich nations to offer to contribute to the $100-billion fund that poor nations say is required to help them maintain their natural resources (such as rain forests) in the current economic climate.