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Posted on on November 12th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (

Postpone UN climate summit, suggests former Irish president.
Former Irish president Mary Robinson has said that a crucial UN climate change summit due to take place in Poland in December should be postponed until after Barack Obama is inaugurated as US president.

Speaking at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Robinson, now vice president of the Club of Madrid, an organisation of former world leaders, said, “It would make more sense to postpone the summit until 20 January. It can’t possibly be led by a lack of understanding for the kind of change that Obama wants.

“This summit, which sounds great and sexy, is happening at the wrong time.”

Also speaking at the event, held to publicise the ‘Road to Copenhagen’ initiative – which refers to the UN climate meeting due to take place in 2009 in the Danish city – was commission vice president Margot Wallström.

She said, “The election of Barack Obama has sent a forceful positive signal to the EU. We see it in terms of negotiating a post-Kyoto agreement.

“We find it hugely important that Obama – with his strong statements on climate change – will be president.

“If we can have a signal from America that they are willing to sit down and talk, it will affect China and India.”

The ‘Road to Copenhagen’ project, which Robinson and Wallström are spearheading along with former Norwegian prime minister and UN special envoy on climate change, Gro Harlem Brundtland, was created to give the general public, industry, politicians and NGOs a say in the UN climate negotiations.

The Poznán summit in Poland this December is due to lay down the formal agenda for the whole process, but the decisive summit will be held in Copenhagen next year.

Robinson, Wallström and Brundtland were joined at the press conference by the Icelandic singer Björk, who has started her own climate campaign to find eco-friendly options for Iceland’s rich natural resources.


Unless postponed until the change in US Administration, Poznan will end up in a ditch and better to postpone it then let it derail the following Copenhagen meeting.

The Road to Copenhagen is a very bright idea if there is a productive Poznan meeting – otherwise Copenhagen will turn naturally into Poznan II and not into a Kyoto II as the UN professionals hope, or a Copenhagen I as an agreement between the US, China, India, Brazil would entail. Poznan is thus a make or brake event on the road to Copenhagen, and a US represented by Paula Dobriansky will just push the rest of those present into the ditch.

Barak Obama cannot speak up before January 20, and obviously cannot have his negotiator vetted by US Congress before he takes over as US President. He said clearly that he works under the rules of the US Constitution that says there is only one President at a given time. Pushing for keeping the Poznan date under these conditions is rather like saying that it is imperative for those opposing the notion that the world must be kept addicted to petroleum and other fossil carbons in their self-interest must have the day.

Barak Obama could appoint his Climate Change negotiator on January 20, 2009, right there at his inaugural speech, and Congress could approve his selection, the speediest, within a month – so, a Poznan meeting in March 2009 is the earliest it makes sense to hold this meeting if you are positively inclined to do something about climate change. We keep saying so for over a year, this even before we had an inkling of who might be next US President. We kept pouring cold water on the UN euphoria with their debate time-line. We are afraid that UN talk is very expensive – it allows people to fly around freely but is not intended to come up with results. Statements by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on how much he wants to see results from the climate change negotiations, and rosy pronunciations from the Executive of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer, cannot change the reality that in the end – it is the US President that holds the keys for a positive outcome of the Climate Change negotiations. It is in the promise of the US and the response from the Brazil, China, India, that an effective plan will be born.


See please also:

The Columbia University World Leaders Forum, September 26, 2008, Became The Podium For Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark To Make Known A Roadmap To The December 2009 Climate Change Meeting in Copenhagen. The Prime Minister Is Keenly Interested That The Copenhagen Event Becomes The Turnaround Point From Our Present Descent Towards Global Environmental Disaster, and He Negotiated This Week A Roadmap With The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and The Two Candidates For The US Presidency. We Wished Him All The Luck He Needs; Nevertheless We Expressed Some Skepticism.

Posted on on September 27th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz ( PJ at


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