MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - World leaders have failed to respond to ongoing climate issues and thus have to step up their efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, UN Climate Change Special Envoy Mary Robinson said Tuesday.
“Heads of state have not addressed climate sufficiently,” Robinson said, speaking on the margins of the Third International Small Island Developing States Conference on the Pacific island of Samoa.
“Their ministers of environment or ministers of energy have been focused. But once you have a head of state focused, it becomes a holistic issue. It's a development issue. It's a financial issue. It's a moral issue. It's a political issue. It's all of those issues,” she added.
Robinson explained that developing countries least responsible for pollution are suffering the most from climate change, caused in part by continued greenhouse gas emissions. Failure to address the issue will cause the displacement of populations as well as damage to their overall development.
According to Robinson, policy makers need to step in and support policies to reverse climate change.
“We need heads of state to say, each of them, what their country is going to do. There's no 'them' and 'us' anymore. It's all of us,” Robinson said.
To build momentum for a universal agreement on climate change and to raise funding, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a climate summit on September 23 in New York with more than 125 world leaders in attendance, the United Nations announced Tuesday.
At the upcoming talks, Robinson hopes to persuade leaders to finance the development of a new climate agreement while encouraging the private sector and civil society to also take an active part in its development.
The United Nations is discussing its new universal agreement on climate change in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Additional talks are scheduled for December in Lima, Peru, followed by a final discussion in Paris, in 2015.