US President Barack Obama will pledge to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions when he attends next month’s climate summit in Copenhagen, say White House officials.
The United States is ready to commit to reducing Co2 emissions to around 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. That target will rise to 30 per cent by 2025, with further cuts expected by 2030. Meanwhile the UN is warning that “action” has to be taken sooner rather than later. “There is no Plan B for Copenhagen, only Plan A and A stands for Action. Unseasonable storms in Asia and Latin America and protracted drought in Africa are already seriously harming people in the developing world,” said Yvo de Boer, the United Nations’ top climate official. Today Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is holding a meeting of eight Amazon countries to forge a common stand ahead of the climate summit. As drought blights the region, killing cattle and destroying crops, ecologists fear there is worse to come. Andre Muggiati, Coordinator of Greenpeace’s Amazon cattle ranching campaign said: “Rising global temperatures will have a significant impact on the Amazon rainforest’s structure, on its biodiversity. Some scientists estimate that large portions of the Amazon will no longer be a dense rainforest like they are now.” Verdant land and abundant wildlife could soon be a thing of the past says Greenpeace as ranchers clear forest areas in search of fertile grazing land. Representing French Guiana, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is also expected to attend the Amazon basin nations’ summit in Manaus in the heart of the jungle. There, where huge swathes of the rainforest are cut down, burnt or cleared each year, he is expected to call for even more ambitious CO2 reduction targets than Obama is planning.