(Reuters) – Some 150 world leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga of Tuvalu gathered in Paris on Monday to open a summit meant to secure the world’s most ambitious pact on climate change.
The full list of speakers is available here on the COP21 site.
Below are select comments and quotes from the speakers:
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
“As the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second largest (greenhouse gas) emitter … the United States of America not only recognises our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”
CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING:
Xi said it was crucial the climate talks addressed economic differences between nations and allowed different countries to develop their own solutions to the problem of global warming. “It is important to respect the differences among countries, especially developing countries,” he said.
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE:
“To resolve the climate crisis, good will, statements of intent are not enough,” he said. “We are at breaking point.”
ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT RAFAEL CORREA:
“An environmental debt needs to be paid.” An international court for environmental justice should be set up. “It is not understandable that we have courts to force countries to pay financial debts but we do not have a court to enforce environmental debts.”
PRINCE CHARLES OF BRITAIN:
“If the planet were a patient, we would have treated her long ago. You, ladies and gentlemen, have the power to put her on life support, and you must surely start the emergency procedures without further procrastination.”
“Humanity faces many threats but none is greater than climate change.” he said. “In damaging our climate we are becoming the architects of our own destruction. We have the knowledge, the tools and the money (to solve the crisis).”
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL:
The aim of the summit was “a binding U.N. framework” and a binding review mechanism to close the gap between the impact on global warming of promised measures and the work required to limit rising temperatures, she said.
U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON:
“I urge you to instruct your negotiators to choose the path of compromise and consensus. Bold climate action is in the national interest of every single country represented at this conference. The time for brinksmanship is over.”
(Reporting by Alister Doyle, Bruce Wallace, Barbara Lewis, Bate Felix; Nina Chestney, Susanna Twidale in London; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
Copyright Reuters 2015
What does the world think of Climate Change?
What does the world think about climate change? The U.S. Pew Research Center asked, and found answers.
Its research report found that a majority “in both rich and poor nations broadly favor their government signing an international agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum.”
The level of concern about climate change varied greatly amongst nations. In China, responsible for the most overall emissions, just 18 per cent of people considered if “a very serious problem,” although 71 pe recent supported addressing it.
“Globally, a median of 78% of people surveyed across 40 nations say they support their country signing an international agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions,” reported Pew.
“But a global median of just 54% consider climate change to be a very serious problem (a median of 85% say it is at least somewhat serious).”
— Deborah Jones
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