The New York Times
October 27, 2009
[efoods]Every day, the critical December summit in Copenhagen grows closer. All agree that climate change is an existential threat to humankind. Yet agreement on what to do still eludes us.
How can this be? The issues are complex, affecting everything from national economies to individual lifestyles. They involve political trade-offs and commitments of resources no leader can undertake lightly. We could see all that at recent climate negotiations in Bangkok. Where we needed progress, we saw gridlock.
Yet the elements of a deal are on the table. All we require to put them in place is political will. We need to step back from narrow national interest and engage in frank and constructive discussion in a spirit of global common cause.
In this, we can be optimistic. Meeting in London earlier this week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the leaders of 17 major economies (responsible for some 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions) that success in Copenhagen is within reach—if they themselves engage, and especially if they themselves go to Copenhagen to push an agenda for change.