Tackling warming is 'great moral crusade for our times' – Gordon Brown
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has warned that saving the environment is the "great moral crusade for our times" – equivalent to the abolition of slavery.
Writing in The Scotsman, the Prime Minister, who flew to the Copenhagen climate summit last night, said the decisions that were taken in the next few days had the potential to be "the most momentous and profound for the world in more than half a century".
Mr Brown brought forward his arrival at the 192-nation summit by two days in order to add momentum to the drive for a political deal by Friday.
Calling for strong action, he writes in The Scotsman: "Environmental protection is the great moral crusade for our times – just as the abolition of slavery and the destruction of apartheid were in the past.
"Not only because it is our duty to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren, but because climate change – caused largely by the richest nations – hits the poorest and most vulnerable hardest."
He says he remains optimistic, "although we are only halfway to getting a deal".
And he says the will and determination existed to "face down the cynics who dispute the overwhelming scientific evidence and the defeatists – unfortunately some of them in the green movement itself – who say agreement is impossible".
Mr Brown's sentiments were echoed by the Prince of Wales, who warned delegates at the UN climate negotiations yesterday that the "eyes of the world" were upon them at this "critical time" and that they had the power to "write our future".
At the opening ceremony of the summit, the prince stressed: "The grim reality is that our planet has reached a point of crisis and we have only seven years before we lose the levers of control."
Prince Charles, who was invited by the Danish government to make the keynote speech, said:
"Just as mankind had the power to push the world to the brink, so too do we have the power to bring it back into balance.
"You have been called to positions of responsibility at this critical time. The eyes of the world are upon you. With your signatures, you can write our future."
Meanwhile, a showdown between the world's two largest polluting countries loomed over the climate talks yesterday, as China accused the United States and other rich nations of backtracking on an emissions deal to fight global warming.
Trying to ease the tension, UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon said rich and poor countries must work together and "stop pointing fingers" at each other.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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