BONN, GERMANY, April 8, 2009 – Keya Chatterjee, deputy director of the climate program at World Wildlife Fund, issued the following statement today upon the conclusion of two weeks of international climate treaty negotiations in Bonn, Germany:
“The urgency of a global response to climate change has never been greater. As negotiations have continued since Bali in December 2007 and Poznan last year, the Earth has continued to warm and the impacts of climate change – from the South Pole to the North Pole – have become more apparent. In just the last two weeks, a chunk of ice the size of Connecticut broke off of Antarctica and NASA announced that this winter’s Arctic sea ice was thinner than at any point in recorded history.
“The good news is we are seeing positive movement. Energy legislation with a draft climate change section was released in the House last week by Chairmen Waxman and Markey. It is vital that Congress move quickly in passing a strengthened cap and trade bill that will stabilize our climate and enable a global climate deal while laying the foundation for a secure, sustainable and prosperous clean energy economy.
“I am pleased that the U.S. government, under the leadership of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Special Envoy Todd Stern and Deputy Special Envoy Jonathan Pershing, is taking the climate threat seriously. However, we need to see an urgency of action that matches the urgency of the problem we are facing. By the time the climate talks convene again in six weeks, the US must have some concrete positions to bring to the table, and there must be progress towards advancing equitable climate legislation that provides the tools to reduce emissions globally.
“The Copenhagen summit, when the treaty is expected to be finalized, is a mere eight months away yet many key issues remain to be resolved. These include assistance to help poor nations prepare for and adapt to climate impacts, incentives to reduce tropical deforestation – the source of nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions – and technology cooperation to help developing countries implement clean energy plans that will reduce their emissions.
“Resolving these issues prior to the December meeting in Copenhagen will require strong and determined leadership. For the sake of future generations and vulnerable communities and ecosystems, I hope the U.S. is ready, willing and able to lead that charge.”