Thursday, February 15, 2007

International Legislators Forum On Climate Change

Feb 15: The London-based GLOBE (Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment) and COM+: Alliance of Communicators for Sustainable Development (a partnership of international organizations) held the Legislators Forum on Climate Change on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, from February 14 – 15 . The event, part of the G-8 and Plus 5 Climate Change Dialogue attracted more than 80 legislators and government officials from the 20 largest energy consuming countries, along with leaders from the private sector.

The event is generally regarded as an informal forum by policy makers from G8 nations, and major developing nations like China and India, to develop ideas on a global-warming pact to follow the Kyoto treaty after 2012. At the meeting, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called for the international community to begin negotiations urgently on a comprehensive global climate change treaty that would succeed Kyoto when its targets expire in 2012. Dimas said, ”It is crucial that the United States and all other major emitters participate in these efforts. The very grave threat that climate change poses is global, and only a global solution can avert it. I am very encouraged that interest is rapidly increasing in the United States for using emissions trading as a key tool to limit greenhouse gas emissions, as we are doing in Europe."

The forum brings together delegates from the G8 (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United States, Canada and Japan) plus 5 countries (China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa), which together produce 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A release from the World Bank says, "The debate at the Legislators Forum on Climate Change isn’t about whether climate change is real -- the forum follows on the heels of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which concluded there was a 90 percent chance human actions have been a major contributor to global warming [
See WIMS 2/2/07]. It’s about how best to reduce the world’s risk of severe impacts from a changing climate and get countries to work together to stop the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

Among the featured speakers were U.S. Senators Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Craig, Lieberman, McCain, and Snowe. Other keynote speakers participating in the Forum included: Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (by video); Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of Economic Service, UK Treasury; Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank; Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; Stavros Dimas, European Environment Commissioner; Rt Hon David Miliband MP, UK Secretary of State for Environment; Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary For Democracy & Global Affairs US State Department; Jim Rogers, President and CEO of Duke Energy; Valli Moosa, President of the World Conservation Union (IUCN); Ms Yuriko Koike, National Security Advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister; and Congressman Mr. Ye Rutang, former Chinese Minister for Environment Protection and current Vice Chairman of the Chinese National People's Congress Committee on Environment & Resources Protection.

Access a media advisory and meeting agenda (
click here). Access the COM+ website for additional information (click here). Access the GLOBE website for additional information (click here). Access a release from the World Bank (click here). Access a release from the European Commission (click here). Access various media report on the forum (click here). Access a release from Senator Boxer (click here). [*Climate]