Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Annan: Rich countries must take lead in tackling climate change

Xinhua: Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said [in Geneva] Tuesday that industrialized countries must take the lead in dealing with the threat of climate change. "Looking at global emissions from a per capita perspective, it is obvious that the richest countries must take the lead," Annan told the first annual meeting of his new humanitarian forum.

"We must have climate justice," Annan said. "We must recognize that the polluters must pay, not the poor and vulnerable." Annan created the Global Humanitarian Forum after his retirement from the top UN post at the end of 2006.

The two-day meeting focuses on the humanitarian threat of climate change. It brings together senior government officials, leaders of international agencies, CEOs of major corporations as well as global financiers. Annan stressed that the world should measure and weigh the impact of climate change not just in scientific terms, but by its social, economic and humanitarian implications.

"From jobs to health to food security and peace ... we must consider it the single most destructive force actively confronting humankind today," Annan said.

Photo of Kofi Annan by Ricardo Stuckert/AgĂȘncia Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency, Wikimedia Commons, under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Brazil License

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