President Mohamed Nasheed has called upon world leaders to seize the historic opportunity that sits at the end of the road to Copenhagen climate summit to be held in December.
Delivering his address to the UN climate summit, which is the largest high-level climate conference ever held, the President said the world leaders must “discard [the] habits that have led to twenty years of complacency and broken promises on climate change.”
President Nasheed expressed disdain over how, in the past, the issue of climate change was presented.
He said: “For the past twenty years we have stood here warning you of the threat of climate change.
“But we have not told you what the solution is, we have not clearly explained that it is in your interest – not just ours – to pursue that solution, and we have not been willing to prove that such a solution is achievable and mutually-beneficial by pursuing it ourselves - by leading by example.”
He said the solution to climate change lied in major three areas which include:
- The developed countries accepting ambitious and binding emission reduction targets consistent with an average temperature increase of below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels;
- The developing world being ready to jump, by accepting binding emission reduction targets under the principle of common but differentiated responsibility;
- The developed world providing new, additional and predictable adaptation financing.
He blamed the belief that tackling climate change would reduce growth and production as well as mistrust among world leaders and the focus on a negative list of actions as the major reasons for the lack of progress over climate change crisis.
On the perception that climate change is a killer of production and growth the President said, “[the countries] that embrace the Green New Deal will be the winners of the 21st Century.”
He said: “Oil is running out and will become increasingly expensive, while clean technologies and renewable energy are becoming ever more efficient and affordable.”
At the high-level climate summit of the AOSIS members, held yesterday in New York, President Nasheed called for a more “positive agenda” of investing in green technologies would be a better alternative to a list of what countries must not do in reaching an agreement over climate change.
Vice President Al Gore in a press conference held afterwards applauded President Nasheed’s speech.
President Nasheed was among the eight heads of state or government invited by the Secretary General of the United Nations to speak at the UN Summit on Climate Change.
Besides UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama of the US, President. Hu Jintao of China, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden, President Óscar Arias Sánchez, of Costa Rica and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France addressed the Summit.
The Summit, which was held at the UN General Assembly hall, was attended by over a hundred world leaders.
After the Summit, President Nasheed joined world leaders at high-level roundtable session on climate change.
He also participated at a lunch forum hosted by UN Secretary General with the purpose of building “positive political momentum towards the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December, by demonstrating explicit private sector support for bold climate action to Heads of State and Government”.