Climate change protesters in Paris and Berlin have set off alarm clocks as a wake up call to politicians ahead of today’s UN climate summit in New York.
That is where world leaders hope to unlock negotiations on a new deal to combat global warming. They are currently stalled over how to share the burden of cutting gas emissions by 2020 between rich and poor nations. It is also hoped the two top emitters – China and the US – will find common ground to help prepare for December’s Copenhagen climate conference where it is hoped a final deal will be hammered out. The recession has provided the sharpest fall in world greenhouse gas emissions in 40 years. The International Energy Agency wants leaders to capitalise on this year’s estimated 2.6 percent fall in CO2 emissions, while the EU wants a 20 percent reduction on 1990 levels by the year 2020. Big business and royalty are also getting in on the act with Britain’s Prince Charles – an environmental campaigner – backing a coalition of 500 international companies. They are urging governments to grasp the business opportunities created by moving to a low climate-risk economy. With popular consensus placing global warming as one of the world’s most pressing problems, activists had one more message: that time to act and save the planet is running out.