US to work with global partners on climate change; UK welcomes UN report

US to work with global partners on climate change; UK welcomes UN report


US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said the United States will work with its partners around the world through “ambitious actions to reduce emissions, transform our energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope” with the effects of climate change.   “This is yet another wakeup call. Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire…We do so because this is science, these are facts, and action is our only option,” he said in a press statement marking the release of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change..   Mentioning that the US is deeply committed to leading on climate change, Kerry said what one country does impacts the livelihoods of people elsewhere – and what all do to address climate change now will largely determine the kind of planet ‘we leave for our children and grandchildren.’   With those stakes, he said, the response must be all hands on deck. “It’s not about one country making a demand of another. It’s the science itself, demanding action from all of us.”   Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate, the statement said.   “Boil down the IPCC report and here’s what you find: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, human beings are the cause of this transformation, and only action by human beings can save the world from its worst impacts.”   The US Secretary also said it is science and it builds on the most authoritative assessments of knowledge on climate change produced by scientists, who by profession are conservative because they must deal in what is observable, provable and reviewable by their peers.   “If this isn’t an alarm bell, then I don’t know what one is. If ever there were an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday welcomed the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and conveyed the urgency of addressing its latest findings.   In a statement, he said: “The longer we delay, the higher the risks and the greater the costs to present and future generations.”   Hague also said that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment of the science confirms that climate change is already happening, as a result of human activity, according to a British High Commission media release.   He said: “The odds of extreme weather events, which threaten lives and property, have increased. Sea levels are rising, and ice is melting faster than we expected.”   The British Foreign Secretary said the IPCC’s report makes clear that unless all act now to reduce carbon emissions, all this will continue to worsen in coming decades. “Governments, businesses and individuals all have a responsibility to tackle climate change.”   The Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Neil Morisetti, also recognised the importance of this comprehensive body of evidence, and agreed that the report plays a fundamental role in reinforcing the need to respond to a changing climate and will be used by governments around the world to inform their response to one of the “greatest threats we face.”   “Unless we take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low carbon, resource effective world, we are likely to see at least a two degree, and potentially as much as five degree, rise in global temperatures by the end of this century,” Morisetti said.   “This represents a fundamental risk to global stability and prosperity.  The need for global action now is clear,” he added.   The report concludes that the scientific evidence is clear – human activity has caused the warming of the climate system over the last century. This is unequivocal, and associated climate changes have been widely observed. – UNB


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