Former Vice President Al Gore showed up at the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru Wednesday to show creative support for an international global warming treaty.
Gore quoted poets from three different languages, according to the news site Responding to Climate Change. Apparently, Gore quoted poetry from China, Spain and the United States — likely because China, Europe and the U.S. are the world’s top emitters of carbon dioxide emissions.
For China, Gore quoted poet Lu Xun: “Hope is a path on the mountainside. At first there is no path. But then there are people passing that way. And there is a path.”
Gore also quoted Spanish poet Antonio Machado: “Traveler, there is no path. You must make the path as you walk.”
The defeated presidential candidate also quoted American poet Wallace Stevens: “After the final no, there comes a yes. And on that yes, the future world depends.”
China, Europe and the U.S. have all recently made pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions to fight global warming. Though China’s pledge is only to peak emissions by 2030 and the country has opposed attempts to allow the international community to scrutinize its efforts.
Europe has been implementing climate policies for years, which they have pulled back on somewhat in the face of high energy prices and over-reliance on energy from Russia. The U.S., on the other hand, has pushed forward with climate policies, most recently promising to cut carbon dioxide emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
The Obama administration hopes that its pledge to cut emissions with China, coupled with promises to fund UN climate programs, will spur other countries to reduce their emissions as well.
Indeed, the first place Gore went when he arrived in Lima, reports RTCC, was the Chinese pavilion at the conference.
“By making this announcement well in advance of the deadline set out in the [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] UNFCCC negotiations, the two leaders demonstrated their commitment to reducing the harmful emissions warming our planet, and urged other world leaders to follow suit in offering strong national targets ahead of next year’s final negotiations in Paris,” wrote White House climate advisers John Podesta and John Holdren.
But already China is challenging the U.S. on global climate rules. China recently opposed a draft agreement that would allow other countries to scrutinize its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — something heavily backed by the U.S.
“The spirit of constructive cooperation of the U.S.-China agreement seems to have come to a full stop,” Liz Gallagher, senior adviser to the group E3G, told Bloomberg.
China has also called on rich countries to give more money to the UN’s Green Climate Fund to help poor nations mitigate the effects of global warming and implement their own climate programs.
The “$10 billion is just one 10th of that objective,” and “we do not have any clear road map of meeting that target for 2020,” said Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator. Su Wei added that global warming aid is “a trust-building process.”
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