COPENHAGEN // US president Barack Obama told world leaders today they must accept a climate change deal, even if it is imperfect, or risk opening dangerous splits in the fight against global warming. "The question is whether we will move forward together, or split apart," Mr Obama said on the tense final day of the UN climate conference. "This is not a perfect agreement, and no country would get everything that it wants," Mr Obama said in an advance copy of his speech, admitting that the bid to forge a robust climate change deal was hanging in the balance.
If the two-week Copenhagen conference fell short, the result would be a slump back to "the same divisions that have stood in the way of action for years," he added. "We will be back having the same stale arguments month after month, year after year - all while the danger of climate change grows until it is irreversible."
"I'm confident that America will fulfill the commitments that we have made: cutting our emissions in the range of 17 per cent by 2020, and by more than 80 per cent by 2050 in line with final legislation." "America is going to continue on this course of action no matter what happens in Copenhagen." "We must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page." "America will be a part of fast-start funding that will ramp up to US$10 billion in 2012. And, yesterday, Secretary Clinton made it clear that we will engage in a global effort to mobilize US$100 billion in financing by 2020, if - and only if - it is part of the broader accord." "This is not fiction, this is science. Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies, and our planet." "Here is the bottom line: we can embrace this accord, take a substantial step forward, and continue to refine it and build upon its foundation." * AFP and Reuters