In a crowd of approximately 5,000 expectators, President of the US Barack Obama, held a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. In his speech, Obama made a recap of the German/American partnership and friendship that was created after the end of World War II which still continues and thrives today. He made declarations in two areas of most importance to Germany due to the country’s historical past and current goals: reduction of nuclear head stockpiles and increasing efforts to prevent climate change.
Concerning climate change, Obama emphasized the US’s commitment to stop climate change. “In the United States, we have recently doubled our renewable energy from clean sources like wind and solar power. We’re doubling fuel efficiency on our cars. Our dangerous carbon emissions have come down.” He recognized however, that the US, as the worlds second largest emitter of carbon emissions, must contribute even further. “But we know we have to do more — and we will do more,” he stated.
Obama acknowledged that climate change is detrimental to all humans and has exacerbated climate phenomena. “Climate change….affects all nations [and causes] more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise.” “This is the global threat of our time,” he affirmed. “And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late.” However, comparing Obama’s determination to reduce nuclear weapons by one third through agreements with Russia, not a single goal was highlighted during his speech to tackle climate change.
This lack of a comprehensive plan to avert climate change was also seen at the two-day G8 conference between leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the USA and the UK. Although French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for the leaders to address climate change, the focus centered on the conflict in Syria, trade talks, and measures to enhance tax transparency and tackle evasion. At the G8, Obama made it clear that climate change should be averted, but no tangible measures were suggested.
At the communique released at the end of the G8 conference, leaders agreed that decisions on climate change will be delayed until the UNFCCC meeting in 2015. Until then world leaders will not take major steps to counter climate change.
If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!