Obama urged to act before climate hopes melt away

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Obama urged to act before climate hopes melt away

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Time is running out.

The message has been symbolised by ice sculptures, left to melt in Copenhagen as UN climate talks stagger along with no deal in sight.

Representing Maasai warriors, the creations are a nod to President Obama’s African ancestry and an appeal for him to act before it is too late.

Hugh Cole of the aid agency Oxfam said he hoped the sculptures were “a reminder to everyone here that climate change is not something that we get to choose whether we respond to. We have to respond to it. Time is running out. You can negotiate about the climate but you can’t negotiate with the climate.”

One row at the summit is over how far temperatures should be allowed to rise. Two degrees is too much, say some nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. So, is a one and a half degree deal possible?

“Given where emissions are at the moment, to get down to a maximum one and a half degree temperature increase is difficult,” said UN climate agency chief Yvo de Boer.

“That is really only possible, first of all, if rich nations show a greater degree of ambition, secondly, if developing countries can do more to limit the growth of their emissions and, thirdly, that is only going to happen if significant finance is mobilised here. But, if all three of those conditions are met, then it is possible.”

With world leaders joining the talks next week, lanterns were released into the night skies of New Delhi in the hope a fair and binding deal will be reached.