UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (UPI) — President Barack Obama Tuesday called for nations to set aside old divisions to press forward in the global fight against climate change.
Developed countries, which wreaked havoc on the climate during the last century, have the responsibility to lead and will do so “by investing in renewable energy, promoting greater efficiency, and slashing our emissions to reach the targets we set for 2020 and our long-term goal for 2050,” Obama said during the U.N. Climate Change Summit in New York.
“We cannot meet this challenge unless all the largest emitters of greenhouse gas pollution act together,” Obama said. “There is no other way.”
Industrialized nations also must help put developing nations on a path of sustainable growth because they don’t have the resources to combat climate change, yet are seeing its effects in famine and drought.
“Their future is no longer a choice between a growing economy and a cleaner planet, because their survival depends on both,” Obama said, saying wealthier countries must provide financial and technical assistance to help developing nations adapt to the impacts of climate change and pursue low-carbon development.
“We seek an agreement that will allow all nations to grow and raise living standards without endangering the planet,” he said. “By developing and disseminating clean technology and sharing our know-how, we can help developing nations leap-frog dirty energy technologies and reduce dangerous emissions.”
The journey to a cleaner planet will be long and hard, he said.
But, the president said, “if we are flexible and pragmatic, if we can resolve to work tirelessly in common effort, then we will achieve our common purpose: A world that is safer, cleaner, and healthier than the one we found; and a future that is worthy of our children.”
Copyright 2009 by United Press International