Chile’s President calls for UN Member States to act to stem climate change

Chile’s President calls for UN Member States to act to stem climate change

President Bachelet of Chile
The President of Chile called for a new global political consensus to deal with climate change, based on a shared but differentiated set of responsibilities and within the framework of the United Nations, during an address to the General Assembly today.

The President of Chile called for a new global political consensus to deal with climate change, based on a shared but differentiated set of responsibilities and within the framework of the United Nations, during an address to the General Assembly today.

Michelle Bachelet described the impact of climate change on her country, where “the speed with which the glaciers are melting has doubled in the past 10 years.” At the same time, Chile’s southern zones are experiencing a “dangerous depletion of the ozone layer, jeopardizing the health of our citizens.”

The Government has taken steps to mitigate the effects of global warming, she said, calling for stepped-up international action. “There is no time to lose. The effort of consensus that we must make, the effort to enlist the greatest possible support, is comparable only to the effort for peace made on the occasion of the adoption of the San Francisco [UN] Charter six decades ago,” she told the annual high-level debate.

“If we do not act now, the future of all humanity will be endangered,” she warned, arguing for a new “global political consensus to generate collective action capable of solving the problem in accordance with the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility and within the framework of the United Nations.”

While acknowledging that all countries must contribute to this effort, she emphasized that those who “have already polluted and achieved their development” have special responsibilities.

“We ask the developed countries to promise technical and financial assistance to the developing countries that most need help with their efforts to combat climate change.”

She voiced hope for the success of negotiations planned for Bali, Indonesia this December aimed at hammering out a successor pact to the legally binding Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, which is set to expire in 2012. “We also hope that the developed countries will make greater commitments regarding mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financing.”

In addition, she added, developing countries must undertake “additional emissions reduction actions in the framework of a global effort.”