World Leaders Discuss Climate Change Curbs Pact

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Diplomats from around the world converged on Copenhagen, Denmark, Monday for a U.N.-sponsored summit with the goal of producing a pact to curb climate change.

“The time for formal statements is over,” Yvo deBoer, the leading U.N. climate official, said during opening remarks. “Copenhagen will only be a success if it delivers significant and immediate action.”

Delegates from island nations, which could become submerged if seas rise because of warming temperatures, threatened to reject anything less than a legally binding treaty, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Other nations indicated they wanted the two-week summit would lead to an agreement that would lay the foundation for a legal treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are committed to achieving the strongest possible outcome in the next two weeks,” Jonathan Pershing, U.S. deputy special envoy for climate change, said. “There is a deal to be done.”

In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency declared greenhouse gases a human health danger and subject to regulation.

Republicans asked the Obama administration to back off the action until it investigates thousands of documents hacked from computers of a climate research university in Britain and posted online. Skeptics say the documents undermine the argument that humans are responsible for global warming.

At the conference, the head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, called the evidence of global warming “overwhelming,” saying the scandal “shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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