No treaty would be America’s loss, says the UN.
(Reuters) – Leadership changes this year among some of the world’s heaviest polluting countries should not undermine progress towards setting up a new global legally binding climate deal by 2015, the United Nations’ climate chief said on Wednesday.
This year could see a sweeping change in national political leaders in large greenhouse gas emitters, including the United States, Russia, China and Japan, in elections or polls.
A U.S. presidential election in November could result in the Republican party seizing control from Democrat and U.S. President Barack Obama, prompting speculation that progress made so far to include the world’s second biggest polluter in a legally binding climate pact could be damaged.
Some Republicans have been openly outspoken about their opposition to climate change science and policies, and have stepped up efforts to scrap or water down national policies to protect the environment.
“It is up to the U.S. electorate to choose the kind of leadership it wants for the next term. It is not only the U.S., but many industrialized countries are having important leadership changes (this year),” Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, told Reuters in an interview.
“We will see new blood come on board, hopefully new visions, and a reinvigorated commitment to a topic which is not a partisan issue,” she added…
A day after the talks Canada withdrew from Kyoto, dealing the treaty a symbolic blow, but Figueres said that decision should not undermine global talks for a new deal this year.
“It’s like all the race horses are behind the starting gates and one bolts out. The loss of that horse will only delay the country’s own economic transformation and make it less competitive in the future,” she said…