Climate change commitments must become reality in 2009
9 Jan 2009
OPINION: Determination, ambition and togetherness - three ingredients for tackling a defining issue, writes Ed Miliband.
THE start of 2009 is a crossroads moment on climate change: does the world look at the financial events unfolding and say it's too hard to act and act quickly? Or do we affirm our aim of a broad and inclusive agreement and keep on the road to a global deal in Copenhagen in December 2009?
To stay on the path to a deal, 2009 must be a year of negotiation not discussion and we all need to raise our game. Morally, we know the scale of the threat of a changing climate. Economically, we know the costs of not acting outweigh the costs of acting and the costs grow the longer we wait.
And so to up the pace, we need to do three things.
First, each country must show clear intent, guided by the science. Many developing countries are setting out national plans to show how they want to tackle climate change. We in the UK have adopted a target to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050; we will adopt challenging targets for 2020 and we have enshrined national carbon budgets in law. All of this is driven by our understanding of what the science tells us about the impact of dangerous climate change.