It has not received much visibility in the press, but there is actually a climate summit going on at the UN today. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been under increasing pressure due to his lackluster leadership at the helm of the world organization, as evidenced in a leaked report prepared by one of the most stalwart supporters of the UN.
Damning Report For UN Secretary-General

The report highlighted Ki-moon’s poor leadership in most challenges facing the globe and the global organization and did not mince words.
(Link to full report in English – you’ll need to scroll down 2-3 times)

However, Ki-moon has insisted he is pushing forward his agenda, in particular regarding climate change and the upcoming main summit in Copenhagen in a few weeks (Climate Change Conference – 7 – 18 December 2009).  Hopes for real achievements in Copenhagen had been in a decline since few and only feeble commitments have been made by the nations that really count over the last year. This was Ki-moon’s opportunity to show that he has the initiative.

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Some hopes were therefore attached to the summit this week, since the preparations for Copenhagen needed an injection of positive news.
So – how does it look?

China makes its first commitment to climate change targets

Well, that’s a good sign – no?
Maybe it is, but it does not really mean anything other than that the rate of pollution may not increase as fast as previously…
President Obama also made positive sounding remarks, but will have an uphill battle in actually winning constructive and lasting legislation.

Chinese president Hu Jintao today broke new ground in his nation’s action on climate change, but failed to deliver measures that would significantly stir up the stagnant negotiations towards an international treaty to fight global warming.
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A few moments before, US President Barack Obama had spoken strongly on the need to act on global warming but offered no new proposals that could jumpstart stalled talks on a UN climate pact. He faces severe opposition at home against proposed laws to cut US emissions.
[…]Observers had hoped the United States and China — the world’s biggest polluters — would inject momentum, just over two months before 190 nations gather in Copenhagen aiming to complete a climate treaty.
Moon, who called the unprecedented meeting, said talks were moving too slowly. “Failure to reach broad agreement in Copenhagen would be morally inexcusable, economically short-sighted and politically unwise,” Ban said.

I am increasingly pessimistic – the conference in December will achieve very little.

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