UN Climate Agreements Provide Building Blocks for Global Action
Statement by Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation
Washington, DC — December 13, 2010
United Nations Foundation President, Sen. Timothy E. Wirth, today issued the following statement regarding the results of the UN climate talks that wrapped over the weekend in Cancún, Mexico:
“The recently completed UN climate talks in Cancún resulted in important progress, setting the world on a path toward constructive global action on climate change. The Cancún Agreements were endorsed by 193 countries, creating the building blocks that will advance the world toward improvements on key environmental issues, such as deforestation, technology cooperation, adaptation, and financing.
“The Cancún Agreements encourage countries to prepare and implement low-carbon development plans and strategies, which will strengthen economic competitiveness and national security, even as they help protect the environment.
“The agreements themselves, as well as the resulting measures that will be implemented around the world, will build confidence in the multilateral negotiations process. These efforts will deliver environmental benefits and pave the way for additional agreements on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the reduction of powerful warming agents such as methane, refrigeration gases, and black carbon from diesel engines and cookstoves.
“The evidence of a destabilized climate is everywhere -- from the global temperature record to the shrinking Arctic ice cap to the increasing incidence of extreme weather events. Negotiators in Cancún made important progress toward cooperative action to combat the destructive results of climate change. As the Cancún Agreements are implemented and the world looks at ahead to two more rounds of talks, we should continue the strategy of developing the building blocks that will move us to a greener energy economy.
“The legacy of the Cancún negotiations will be the recognition that national commitments are the basis of concrete action on climate change. At the same time, developments in the United States have provided an opportunity for continued U.S. leadership on these issues, including obligations under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday rejected an effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing Clean Air Act standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus accelerate the transition to cleaner energy technologies. The purpose of the Clean Air Act is to protect the public health and welfare. Attempts to undermine it -- whether in Congress or in the courts, must not be allowed to succeed.”
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About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.