The highly-anticipated United Nations climate change conference kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark, today with countries issuing urgent calls for action to curb global warming.
Over 15,000 people, including government officials and representatives from the private sector, environmental organizations and research institutions, as well as 110 heads of State and government are expected to take part in the two-week summit, making it the largest gathering on climate change ever.
“The costs of responding to climate change will become progressively higher as time goes on,” Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said at the conference’s opening. “Therefore, we must take action now.”
According to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), there is unprecedented political momentum for a new deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“World leaders are calling for an agreement that offers serious emission limitation goals and that captures the provision of significant financial and technological support to developing countries,” he said.
“At the same time, Copenhagen will only be a success if it delivers significant and immediate action that begins the day the conference ends.”
The IPCC has found that to stave off the worst effects of climate change, industrialized countries must slash emissions by 25 to 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, and that global emissions must be halved by 2050.
Source: United Nations
Filed Under: Policy