News

World Leaders Head to Copenhagen for Climate Talks

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is attending the climate talks in Copenhagen. Before leaving for the Danish capital, he said rich and poor countries must 'stop pointing fingers' and must press forward to reach a strong deal to combat climate change.

Multimedia

Audio

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is attending the climate talks in Copenhagen.  Before leaving for the Danish capital, he said rich and poor countries must "stop pointing fingers" and must press forward to reach a strong deal to combat climate change.  Ban Ki-moon said he is optimistic a robust agreement will be reached at the Copenhagen conference.

"Copenhagen can and must be the turning point in the world's efforts to prevent runaway climate change and usher in a new era of green growth for all," Ban said.

Tuesday marks the eighth day of climate talks and with world leaders arriving, analysts say it is time to make serious progress with the major issues.

Bob Ward is from the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at the London School of Economics.

"There is a sense that when the political leaders arrive in the next few days, that they will be able to overcome some of the stumbling blocks, because I believe the leaders will be able to really grab this issue by the scruff of the neck and get down to the substance and bridge the remaining gaps," Ward said.

The main goals of the summit are to agree on targets to cut to greenhouse-gas emissions and to set up a mechanism to provide developing countries with the billions of dollars needed to cope with climate change.

But talks were put on hold for much of Monday, after African delegates walked out saying the poor nations most affected by climate change are being ignored.  Before returning to the talks they said developed nations are trying to sideline the Kyoto Protocol - a legally binding deal that set reduction targets for 2012.

The G77-China bloc, which negotiates on behalf of 130 countries including some of the poorest nations - want the Kyoto agreement to continue beyond 2012 with new emissions targets.

But Ward says focusing on the mechanisms for reaching a climate deal are counter-productive right now.  He says world leaders need to focus instead on the major goals.

"That is an issue that can be hammered out after Copenhagen, once we have got the important agreement about exactly how much we are going to cut emissions and how much money is going to be given to those developing countries to help them with their efforts," Ward said.

The European Union has pledged more than $10 billion to help poor countries deal with climate change - a figure developing nations have described as "insignificant".  The World Bank has predicted adjusting to the effects of climate change will cost up to $100 billion a year until 2050.

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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs