Climate change 'back at the top of the political agenda', but grueling talks remain ahead: Page 2 of 2
Posted on 24 September 2014
is “stepping up to the plate” to combat this. Towards this, Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into international development programs and investments. The US is also going to deploy experts and technology to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters and plan for long-term threats.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, speaking on behalf of G77 and China—the largest bloc comprising 133 developing countries—said that the international response to climate change must fully respect the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibility. CBDR means that while all states/countries have the common responsibility to protect the global environment, they have contributed differently to ecological problems, so their responsibility to reduce or control the effects and prevent future occurrences will be different according to their means and capabilities.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivered a stark critique of the capitalist model, saying that it has for decades ignored nature’s capacity to restore itself. He expressed concern over the so-called Green Economy model that is being promoted as a capitalist solution, and asked if anyone still believed that multinational corporations could change overnight to become the saviors of the planet. He reiterated the call from the Margarita Declaration of the Social Pre-COP that Venezuela hosted in July, i.e., cambio el sistema, no el clima (system change, not climate change).
The Climate Summit does not have a bearing on the official climate negotiations, the next round of which is set to take place at the forthcoming annual Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru (COP 20) in December this year. But the summit is explicitly aimed at “putting climate change back at the top of the political agenda” after the lackluster COPs of previous years.
Held right after a 400,000-strong People’s Climate March thundered through 80 blocks of New York City streets, the summit appears to have derived extra energy from the gigantic street demonstration. Both events have attracted tremendous media attention worldwide and have certainly combined to “put climate change back at the top of the political agenda”—in the short term.
The question remains, however, in the minds of civil society, governments and other climate justice advocates across the globe: Will the momentum be sustained and provide enough power to break the deadlock in the climate talks, which has stalled climate action in previous years?
Hoping for a breakthrough, all stakeholders are gearing up for Peru COP 20 just two months from now. But the world, especially poor, developing, and small-island countries, cannot wait much longer for continued climate deadlock and inaction. ###