UN Climate Change Summit Starts in New York
National leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron and American President Barrack Obama will be in New York today to begin negotiations on a long term plan to lower carbon emissions. The summit hosted by UN General Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is the first high level gathering of its kind since the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in 2009.
The United Nations is seeking to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, but scientists say current emission trends could mean that temperatures will rise by more than twice that level by the end of the century.
Some delegates are unhappy that two of the world’s most populous nations are not sending their heads of state to the event. India and China will both be represented by prominent government ministers.
Tony de Brum foreign minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, one of the smallest countries at the summit, feels that the talks would benefit from the presence of all world leaders saying; “ I’m shocked and very disappointed. Every study I have ever read makes it clear that developing countries have the most to lose from runaway climate change, and for the small island states of the world, the science says we might be forced to pay the biggest price of all – the loss of our countries.”
Earlier this month scientists at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reported that concentrations of most greenhouse gases reached record levels during 2013.