The impact of Ban Ki-moon’s New York summit on UN efforts to curb climate change faces its first test on Monday in Bonn, where envoys from over 190 countries meet for a week of negotiations.
Leaders from around the world convened in New York, as the United Nations hosted its UN Climate Summit 2014
Climates marches were held across the globe on Sunday, from Paris to Papua New Guinea, and with world leaders gathering at the United Nations on Tuesday for a climate summit meeting, marchers said the timing was right for the populist message in support of limits on carbon emissions. The signs that marchers held were as varied as the movement: “There is No Planet B,” “Forests Not for Sale” and “Jobs, Justice, Clean Energy.”
Climate change is an area that should ultimately bring the two nations closer together even more than cooperation on energy. If the world’s two largest economies, and two most powerful nations, can’t come together to address this very real threat to human civilization, then what can they achieve together?
Advocates for action on climate change have long urged the United States to make the first major move in limiting carbon dioxide emissions, with the hope that other big emitters around the world would follow suit. That seems to actually be happening now: only days after the United States announced a new rule that will cut emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, China made some noise about instituting a carbon cap of its own.
In our rapidly changing world, old institutions often survive but are regularly supplemented with newer, larger groups that keep pace with progress. That’s certainly the case with the G-8 and G-20 meetings, which have an important place in diplomacy but also have limitations. As the world develops, dynamic nations clamor to have their voices heard.
Last month was the 333rd consecutive month that global temperatures were above the 20th century average, and 2012 will almost certainly be the hottest ever recorded in the US. Hurricanes, heatwaves, wildfires and droughts blistered farmlands and ruined crops from Kansas to Assam, and Britain has had its wettest summer and driest spring to date.
Four years ago, Kenneth Ndua quit his job at a local charity and spent his savings designing a cooking stove. Through his job, he saw many people suffering from waterborne diseases and thought of a possible answer. "Fuel is very costly and they cannot even boil water," explained Kenneth. "I thought, 'Why not come up with an idea that can solve all this?'"