News

    President Obama Heads to Copenhagen as Climate Conference Draws to Close

    President Barack Obama is due to head to Copenhagen overnight to join the leaders of over 100 other nations for the final day of the U.N. Climate Change conference in the Danish capital.

    The question remains what sort of compromise they can agree on to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to help the most affected and less developed nations of the world cope with global warming.

    For the past two weeks thousands of delegates have been meeting in a conference center on the outskirts of Copenhagen.  Their task was to come up with a global plan to deal with climate change.   

    But, agreement has been elusive.  Many of the sessions were taken up with finger pointing and rhetoric of who's to blame for global warming, who suffers most, and who needs to do more.

    Addressing the conference, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned that, as he put it, no one has come here with "clean hands."

    "The inescapable truth is that we, the developed world, carry the overwhelming historical responsibility for the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," Rudd said.

    Prime Minister Rudd's message was that the developed world must set things right. But, he also admonished emerging economies to not continue to spew out greenhouse gases.

    There have been major differences here at the conference between developed and developing nations and with major emerging economies.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a major funding initiative with a promise to contribute to a global fund of $100 billion annually to help poor nations deal with climate change.  But, she said that could only happen if all major economies agree on emissions cuts and on proper monitoring of implementation.  She made a clear reference to China, with whom the U.S. has been at odds over the issue.

    But, Prime Minister Rudd reminded delegates that everyone has a stake.

    "The truth is that unless we all act together because we are all in this together there will be limited prospects of development because the planet itself will no longer sustain development," Rudd said.

    That was much the message from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who admonished his fellow world leaders that failure is not an option.

    He warned them they would all have to answer before global opinion and public opinion at home if they failed to act.  Science has told us what must be done, he said, and we are the last generation to be able to do it.

    In an impassioned speech, President Sarkozy said everyone would have to compromise.  He appealed to world leaders to sit down and work out their differences and suggested a serious working meeting after Thursday's dinner to do just that.

    Initial hopes had been the Copenhagen conference could come up with a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which mandates emission cuts for most developed nations.  Developing countries are adamant that they want Kyoto extended beyond its 2012 expiration date.  Leaders here have indicated they are looking for a political framework agreement from Copenhagen, with another summit to be held in about six months to work out details and turn it into a legally binding accord.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora