World Climate Accord
World leaders reach climate deal
James Watson, PA
16 February 2007
World leaders have reached a new agreement on tackling climate change at a meeting in the United States.
Delegates agreed that developing countries will have to face targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions as well as rich countries. (clip)
The group is a discussion forum that is part of British-led environmental group Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).
Globe was set up to encourage discussion of environmental issues between politicians and business leaders of the world's leading industrialised nations.
The announcement will be seen as a major coup for the British government because the discussion forum was launched at the House of Commons in February 2006 and its president, Elliot Morley MP, is a special representative of the Prime Minister.
The forum's closing statement yesterday said man-made climate change was now "beyond doubt".
A statement from Globe said: "Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities."
The declaration carries no formal weight but it is considered to indicate a real change in mood of the world's most powerful nations.
The two-day meeting brought together legislators from countries including the Group of Eight rich nations plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
Former cabinet minister Stephen Byers MP took part in the forum, joined by influential US senator Joe Lieberman and presidential candidate John McCain.
British businessman Sir Richard Branson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, all gave keynote addresses. "
This is very likely the foundation of a global cap and trade agreement.
The BBC also reports that
"US senator Joe Lieberman forecast that the US Congress would enact a law on cutting emissions by the end of next year, possibly this year.
And presidential candidate John McCain, who is co-sponsoring climate legislation with Mr Lieberman, was emphatic on the need for new initiatives.
"I am convinced that we have reached the tipping point and that the Congress of the United States will act, with the agreement of the administration," he told the forum.
But Dr John Holdren, the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said President George W Bush needed to appreciate that the US economy would not suffer unnecessarily if emission were capped.
"The economic damage from not addressing climate change is much larger than the economic cost of addressing it," he said. more
Clearly, this is a significant development.
The American MSM reads the European papers.
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