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Sarkozy’s tough message on climate – did it get through?
After one and a half days of mostly uninspired and often irrelevant speeches by world leaders, French President Nicolas Sarkozy walked to the podium at UN climate talks in Copenhagen and produced a seven minute rallying cry – focused, energetic and packed with more punch than the rest put together.
Jabbing his finger, he berated leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States to own up to their responsibilities and make compromises. Point by point he delivered his challenges, each starting with: ‘Who would dare..’ (implied answer, no one)
Who in the developed world would deny his historic responsibility for global warming (a reference to the United States?), who in Africa would venture to tear up a deal that seeks to benefit African states (a reference to those who want more financing), who would have the nerve to reject the notion that emissions cuts must be transparent (a reference to China?).
He finished by telling leaders to sit down and negotiate hard over the next 24 hours. “We need to change track or we are heading for disaster,” he said, then strode from the stage.
Some of Sarkozy’s energy is finally permeating these talks. Leaders and ministers are talking hard, most likely they will continue to talk late in to the night in the hope there will be something to sign on Friday.