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Brown: Urgent action to prevent climate 'catastrophe'

Prime Minister gordon Brown has urged prompt action to avert a climate: “Catastrophe” and reach a deal in the December Copenhagen summit on climate change.

He said: “If we do not reach a deal at this time [At Copenahagen], let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement, in some future period, can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late.

“So we should never allow ourselves to lose sight of the catastrophe we face if present warming trends continue.

“Only last week we saw new evidence of the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice. And in just 25 years the glaciers in the Himalayas which provide water for three-quarters of a billion people could disappear entirely.”

Gordon Brown said the changing, warming climate would force individuals into greater poverty and conflict.

He said agreement was needed to achieve:

  • binding economy-wide caps in the mid-term for developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions for developing ones;
  • finance, including for adaptation, forestry, technology and capacity building
  • technology co-operation, including specific action plans in areas such as solar power and carbon capture and storage;
  • and national communications and monitoring, reporting and verification

“In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history - because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than fifty days to set the course of the next fifty years and more. So, as we convene here, we carry great responsibilities, and the world is watching.

“If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement, in some future period, can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late,” he said.

 

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