The UN has released a list of confirmed attendants for the New York climate meeting next week, including David Cameron, with presidents from US and France also participating. India and China, two of the most polluting nations, will not send their presidents but instead lower level officials.
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In statement, the UN said leaders would be asked at the summit “to announce significant and substantial initiatives to help move the world toward a path that will limit global warming”.
The organisation added, “Announcements at the summit will be aimed at mobilising finance for climate action, increasing the use of renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, reducing deforestation, promoting climate smart agriculture, building resilience, reducing pollutants, and promoting climate action in the world’s cities”.
Civil society, finance and business personalities have also been invited to attend the summit.
David Cameron, Barack Obama and Francois Hollande are among confirmed speakers, along with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and many other heads of state and government. Some countries will send their environment or foreign ministers.
China and India – the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters along with the US – will not send their presidents.
China will send vice premier Zhang Gaoli as a special envoy of president Xi Jinping. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the state media, “The Chinese side expects to join efforts with the international community to push for positive results in the summit, advance international cooperation on climate change and contribute to addressing climate change.”
India will send its environment minister, with president Modi expected to travel to the US later in the month and meet with Barack Obama to discuss various issues including climate change.
Meanwhile, civil society and environmental groups are campaigning hard to organise the biggest climate march in history on the first day of the summit.
Around 100,000 people are expected in New York, with thousands of rallies organised elsewhere, including a People’s Climate March in London.
May Boeve, executive director of climate action group 350.org, said, “The scale, pace, and power of the organising happening right now is something that we haven’t seen before.
“People realise that we can’t leave the fate of the planet up to our politicians. We need to come together, raise our voices, and apply pressure where it counts.”
Photo: WorldIslandInfo.com via Flickr