Climate summit: Spanish PM asks US, China to rise to occasion

Climate summit: Spanish PM asks US, China to rise to occasion

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero at the the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference. AFP

Zapatero said the presence of almost 120 world leaders at the meeting means that "deep down we all want a sufficient agreement" to be able to fight against climate change.

Calling for an accord "here and now", he said that "if we fail in Copenhagen, we will all lose".
Giving a nod to renewable energy, Zapatero ended his brief address by saying that "the Earth does not belong to anyone, only to the wind".

Regarding China and the US, the Spanish premier noted that the European Union had already worked out a "serious" agreement to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent in 10 years and granted the most needy countries financial aid to help them do so, with the Spanish contribution to be at 375 million euros over the next three years.

He stressed the need to achieve a fair accord and defended a "forceful" reduction in emissions and a decisive change in energy sources which, he acknowledged, will require a great effort by many countries but will lead to "a road of development and collective advancement".

"A new energy era must be born" based on energy saving and efficiency, greater reliance on renewable energy, a great technological effort and the democratisation of the capacity to produce energy, "which will be a decisive factor of rebalancing the world's wealth".

Zapatero said the summit "must not be a debate between poor and rich, between state capitalism and private capitalism, between countries with large petroleum or coal reserves and those of us who don't have them".
The Spanish leader will remain in Copenhagen until Friday, along with almost 120 world leaders to try and seal a deal to fight the detrimental effects of climate change.