By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 23, 2014
Stephen Harper to skip UN Climate Summit, attend dinner instead
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is hosting a major climate summit in New York on September 23, “to mobilize political will” towards reducing global emissions.
U.S. President Barack Obama will be attending, as will U.K. Prime Minster David Cameron.
In fact, 125 heads of state will be there.
In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday afternoon, spokesperson Jason MacDonald said that Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq will attend the summit in his stead.
“The Prime Minister will take part in the related dinner with the Secretary-General to discuss climate issues,” noted the statement.
Incidentally, Harper will be in New York that week to attend the Every Woman, Every Child event hosted by the Secretary-General on September 25th and to address the UN General Assembly.
The climate summit is not an official negotiating summit but comes one year ahead of a 2015 meeting in Paris where world leaders are aiming to a achieve a new legally binding and universal agreement on climate change — the first one since Kyoto.
Ban Ki-Moon hopes the summit on September 23 will be a catalyst towards that deal.
“Time is running out. The more we delay, the more we will pay,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Huffington Post last week.
“Climate change is accelerating and human activities are the principal cause, as documented in a series of authoritative scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The effects are already widespread, costly and consequential — to agriculture, water resources, human health, and ecosystems on land and in the oceans. Climate change poses sweeping risks for economic stability and the security of nations.” (Source: Yahoo News Canada)