Former President Jimmy Carter was in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 31, to join “The Elders,” a group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela, to issue a statement underscoring their concern about climate change prior to negotiations on the issue coming up in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The group, which is chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, included Gro Harlem Brudtland, former prime minister of Norway and the U.N.’s secretary-general’s special envoy on climate change; Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland; Ela R. Bhatt, founder of India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association; Mary Robinson, former Irish president; Kofi Annan, former U.N.secretary general; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil and Graca Machel, international activist on women’s and children’s rights.
The Elders brought 13 of their grandchildren to join them to emphasize the urgency of the issue for future generations. Mr. Carter’s grandsons, Hugo Wentzel, 10, and Jeremy Carter, 22, were among the participants.
According to www.theelders.org, the group urged the heads of government that are to attend to Copenhagen meeting in December to agree to a two degree Celsius target as the outer limit of global temperature increase that humankind can tolerate.
The Web site also indicated that they agreed that global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 50 percent by 2050 to stop further global warming.
In addition, they called on the representatives of the G8 and other industrialized countries to accept their historic responsibility for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and to commit to emissions cuts of 25-40 percent by 2020, and at least 80 percent by 2050, relative to levels in 1990, backed by verifiable national action plans.
The site said that they also agreed that the big emerging economies reduce their emissions through national action plans that are measurable and verifiable and that they agreed that industrialized countries are to provide the majority of financial support of at least 100 billion euros a year to help developing countries to shift to low carbon prosperity and adapt to the damaging effects of climate change that are already tackling climate change.