Nations urged to take more action on climate change at UN summit
United States The largest gathering of world leaders on climate change opened at the United Nations yesterday facing calls for action to put the planet on course toward reversing global warming.
Today, we must set the world on a new course, UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon told leaders from 120 countries. I am asking you to lead.
The meeting is the first high-level gathering since the Copenhagen conference on climate change ended in disarray in 2009.
Diplomats and climate activists see the event as crucial to building momentum ahead of the Paris conference in late 2015 that is to yield a deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.
But no-shows from the leaders of China, the worlds biggest polluter, and India, the number three carbon emitter, are casting a cloud over the event.
In his address, Ban called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and declared that by the end of the century the world must be carbon neutral.
Climate change threatens hard-won peace, prosperity, and opportunity for billions of people, Ban said. We are not here to talk. We are here to make history.
Ban was joined at the opening by former US vice president and climate cru- sader Al Gore, Hollywood celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio, Chinese actress Li Bingbing and Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN climate panel, which won the Nobel peace prize in 2007.
Leaders are to take turns at the podium throughout the day, from President Barack Obama representing the worlds second biggest polluter to Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga of...
... the Pacific island- nation of Tuvalu, which faces the prospect of being wiped out by rising sea waters.
French President Francois Hollande announced that Paris would contribute up to US$1 billion to the UNs global Green Climate Fund (GCF), which helps poorer nations finance climate change reform.
The GCF faces a key test at Abbas to propose new Mideast peace talks timetable at UN
Drawing parallels with the US fight for civil rights, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has vowed to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel when he addresses world leaders this week.
I say today to Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu: end the occupation, make peace, Abbas told an audience in New York.
In a passionate address to students on Monday in the Cooper Union hall where former US president Abraham Lincoln once called for an end to slavery, Abbas called on the world to rethink Palestine.
The international community has the responsibility to protect our people, living under the terror of settlers, an occupying army, Abbas said, winning loud applause from a large audience of mixed religions, including Jewish students.
We want the international the UN summit as it looks to the leaders of the industrialized world to stump up billions of dollars to fill its underflowing coffers.
France will contribute up to $1 billion in the coming years, Hollande told the summit hosted by Secretary General Ban Kimoon.
Previously only Germany had come up with a substantial commitment, pledging around $1.0 billion in July.
Despite much enthusiasm from community to defend us from the settlers, and from the Israeli army, Abbas said, in what was billed as his first speech in English to a general American audience.
We cannot understand how the Israeli government can be so misguided as to fail to understand that the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that killed thousands of women and children, only sowed more hate, Abbas said.
This week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks, Abbas said, speaking in English and winning a standing ovation from the audience at one of Americas oldest educational institutions.
Evoking the legends of such icons as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr, Abbas said he was bringing a message of peace.
Security equals justice, Abbas insisted, and drew parallels with the century-long US climate activists for the summits potential to create impetus, some see the event as falling short of what is needed to get serious about the environment.
Few governments will be in a position to make any real commitments, wrote the aid agency Oxfam in an assessment of the summits likely outcome.
The initiatives to be unveiled by the private sector, foundations, and green groups at the summit, the group said are helpful but few, if any, are really groundbreaking.
The summit is being held af- struggle for civil rights peppering his speech with references to King and Abraham Lincoln.
Enough is enough; end the occupation. We ask that the international community stop hiding behind calls for the resumption of talks, Abbas said.
The veteran Palestinian leader is set to address the annual UN General Assembly on Friday.
Palestinian leaders have said Abbas intends to propose a three-year deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The latest peace talks led by top US diplomat John Kerry collapsed in April amid bitter recriminations on both sides.
Palestinian and Israeli officials are trying to negotiate a permanent deal to seal a ceasefire which went into place in late August after a 50-day war in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas also aligned himself with the fight against the Islamic ter marches drew hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on the streets in cities worldwide on Sunday in a show of people power directed at leaders reluctant to tackle global warming.
Key players from the private sector are also stepping into the fray to trumpet their commitment to greening, with Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing on Monday that the tech giant would prioritise low-carbon growth.
The summit talks are separate from the negotiations held under the UN Framework Convention jihadists spreading terror in Iraq and Syria.
I am speaking on behalf of 99 per cent of the Muslim people around the world. Here, today in the shadow of Ground Zero, I state to the world that the barbarians of ISIL, Daesh and AlQaeda are not faithful Muslims, Abbas said to applause.
And to the families and the children of the victims of September 11, I say, as a Palestinian Muslim, I am sorry for your pain. These murderers do not represent Islam, we all stand against them to defeat their evil plans.
At the same time we must work to end the Israeli occupation and establish a Palestinian state, for we cannot fight terror only by the gun.
But he called on America to be a true friend to Israel. on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will culminate with the Paris conference in December 2015.
The United Nations is seeking to limit global warming to 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels, but scientists say current emission trends could hike temperatures to more than twice that level by centurys end.
One recent report warned that a surge in carbon dioxide levels had pushed greenhouse gases to record highs in the atmosphere, increasing at their fastest rate in 30 years in 2013.
The largest gathering of world leaders on climate change takes place at the UN. The meeting was the first high-level gathering since the Copenhagen conference on climate change ended in disarray in 2009. AFP/VNA Photo