Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama called on to commit $200b to fight climate change

by Carmelo Amalfi
POOR countries yesterday called on the United States Congress to release $200 billion to fight climate change on the day President Barack Obama received the Nobel prize.
Sudanese delegate Lumumba Dia-Ping, who represents the G77 group of 132 developing countries including China, challenged the president to show leadership and
“We ask president Obama and the US to join the Kyoto Protocol because the world can’t achieve an equitable or a just deal that would save the planet without the participation of the United States,” he told reporters at the COP15.
“Global peace and security will be endangered without US participation in resolving this serious threat to humanity. This is the war we need to fight.”
Dia-Ping, who created controversy this week over the leaked Danish text, said the world had enough resources to address climate change in a more radical and substantial way.
“The US Congress has to be asked, you approve billions of dollars in defence budgets,” he said. “Can’t you approve $200 billion to save the world?” he said.
He said Obama must show leadership at a time of global crisis: “This is what we expect from him as a Nobel Prize winner and one of the advocates of new multiculturalism.
“That is what we expect of him as someone who is a member of both the developed and developing world - his extended family, his brothers, his cousins, his uncles are still in that continent (Africa) of which he is proud to be a member.”
European Union delegates said the amount of money Dia-Ping wanted the US to spend was more than the world spent on development assistance each year.
“To dish up that kind of money would be difficult,” they said.
President Obama said in his acceptance speech in Norway that US military leaders also understood the urgency of fighting climate change.
“There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement – all of which will fuel more conflict for decades,” he said. “It is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action, it’s military leaders in my own country and others who understand that our common security hangs in the balance.”

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