UN climate talks in focus at Davos forum

Jan 27, 2011 By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE , Associated Press
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, left, and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon participate in a session on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. Focus shifts on Thursday to the future of the euro and the issue of climate change. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(AP) -- Businesses, especially U.S. ones, must get more involved in the global effort to slow climate change and help pressure politicians to enact policies that promote green growth, international leaders said Thursday.

"They are part of the problem and they must be part of the solution," South African President Jacob Zuma said at the World Economic Forum.

In a panel discussion at Davos, where some 2,500 business leaders and politicians are gathered, he vowed to press for a greater corporate role in the U.N. that his country will host in the coastal city of Durban later this year.

"I think that's one of the areas we are going to work very hard leading to Durban to convince business to be party so that it's not just governments alone," Zuma said, sharing the stage with Mexico President Felipe Calderon, European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

There is serious concern about how to keep the moving forward while, at the same time, ensuring that people in the developing world are not denied a chance to better their lives without contributing to factors that have caused global warming.

Hedegaard said that governments can provide the right conditions for green growth, but "the solutions have to come from business."

"That is why setting the political targets are so crucial because then we can set a price on carbon," she said. "If it costs a lot to pollute a lot, then business has an incentive to pollute less."

She noted that President didn't mention climate change or global warming in his State of the Union address "because of the political situation." But she implored U.S. businesses to be bolder in embracing more energy-efficient economies.

"It's bad business to not be among the front-runners," she said. "I hope that even more American business people would understand that they need to put the pressure on their politicians."

Calderon said very little can be achieved without U.S. involvement, and he called for a change in American public opinion on global warming.

"My perception is most of the people in the United States are afraid about the economic situation," he said. "They perceive this issue of climate change like an obstacle for their own progress. And we need to change that perception."

China, which has overtaken the U.S. as the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has now realized it makes economic sense for it to become more energy efficient, Figueres said.

"China is committed to winning the green race," she said. "And honestly they are not doing it just because they want to save the planet. They are doing it because it's good for the economy."

The discussion comes after global talks on a new climate pact escaped failure last month in the Mexican resort town of Cancun, where nations agreed on a modest set of decisions that put climate change negotiations back on track after the bitterly divisive summit in 2009 in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen talks exposed the rift between rich and poor nations on the fundamental question of how to share the responsibility of tackling - chiefly curbing the emissions of heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

Copenhagen produced only a nonbinding accord with voluntary climate targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions that wasn't even formally adopted by the conference.

At Cancun, nations brought those voluntary pledges into the U.N. negotiating process and established a green fund to manage the $100 billion a year by 2020 that developed countries have pledged to help poor nations cope with global warming.

But the ultimate goal of crafting a new global climate pact was put off till the next climate conference in Durban or beyond. The main issue that remains to be resolved is the legal status of such a treaty: Should the commitments inscribed in it be compulsory?

China and India oppose legally binding emissions targets, saying that would hobble the economic growth they need to lift millions of citizens out of poverty. For its part, the U.S. says it would only consider binding commitments if China and India do the same.

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ted208
3 / 5 (6) Jan 27, 2011
Quote "My perception is most of the people in the United States are afraid about the economic situation," he said. "They perceive this issue of climate change like an obstacle for their own progress. And we need to change that perception."

How the hell are you going to change my perception? with bigger and more global warming doom and gloom hoax story's that don't and won't come to fruition. Or maybe shove it down our throats Nazi/Socialist style!!! Thanks to warmist alarmist polices, millions of people in the 3rd world and the West have be pushed into food,energy and money poverty, to mention just a few Corn ethanol and Bio fuels, you are going to witness riots worldwide as this nightmare comes home to roost. We don,t perceive your lies we know them well!!
omatumr
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2011
What a sad state of affairs! These politicians don's understand.

The public knows that government science became a tool of government propaganda, as Eisenhower predicted might happen in 1961:

youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts
MikeyK
3 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2011
What a sad state of affairs!
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

...unfortunately it is, for someone that was obviously very intelligent, reduced to writing drivel in blogs
MikeyK
3 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2011
Ahhh, poor omatumr can only respond with the one star...poor, poor omatumr. Don't worry, carry on with your usual nonsense, we all enjoy the laugh!
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2011
If it costs a lot to pollute a lot, then business has an incentive to pollute less


Let me rephrase that:

If it costs a lot to pollute a lot in the US, and it doesn't cost anything to pollute in China, India or Mexico then companies will move there. The US already has some of the toughest anti-pollution laws in the world. Our clean air and water act are a model for the world. Let's see Mexico match us first, then the Mexican President can talk about what HE is willing to do next.

This is another example of the UN being anti-American. A clear demonstration of why we should defund them. These statements come at the perfect time, when our government is looking for places to cut spending.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2011
There is serious concern about how to keep the global economy moving forward while, at the same time, ensuring that people in the developing world are not denied a chance to better their lives without contributing to factors that have caused global warming


Yeah, that's a bunch of meaningless rhetoric. The US already dishes out billions in foreign aid. Just how much do they want this time? Haven't they noticed that we are already in debt? The well is dry. Go ask China for money. They have more than we do. How come when these clowns say that business needs to step in, I know they aren't talking about Chinese, Indian or Mexican business? Most businesses I know of work very hard to conserve energy and resources. It's a cost savings, so they have motivation. Lets see the UN do the same and stop having these expensive conventions all over the world that accomplish NOTHING.
omatumr
2 / 5 (4) Feb 02, 2011
Yes, GSwift7, the global climate scare "pinched off the tail pipe" of the Western economic engine and almost shut it down.

Fifty tears ago Eisenhower warned that government science might one day become a tool of government propaganda.

youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts

It worked. Al Gore and the UN's IPCC received a Nobel Prize along the way!
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2011
Yes, GSwift7, the global climate scare "pinched off the tail pipe" of the Western economic engine and almost shut it down


And what did the EU get for all of the money they have spent on carbon trading? Nothing. We managed to cut GHG emission almost exactly as much as they did since 2006, without the Kyoto Profilac... I mean Protocol.

Hey, I've been meaning to ask you. Did you teach any chemical engineering classes when you where at Rolla? My dad went there at exactly the same time you were there.