, WASHINGTON, United States, Sep 22 – President Barack Obama will seek to galvanise international support in the fight against climate change on Tuesday when he addresses the United Nations, with time running out on his hopes of leaving a lasting environmental legacy.
Obama has warned that failure to act on climate change would be a “betrayal” of future generations, but faced with a Congress reluctant to even limit greenhouse gas emissions – let alone ratify an international agreement – his options appear limited.
Tuesday’s climate summit in New York kicks off a process that will culminate in Paris at the end of 2015, where the world’s powers will hope to seal a new global climate change pact.
“Internationally, this is the opportunity for the president to leave his mark on the issue,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based think-tank.
Obama’s last meeting with heads of state to try to strike a climate deal, in Copenhagen five years ago, ended in bitter disappointment.
“I think that people are justified in being disappointed about the outcome in Copenhagen,” Obama said at the time, lamenting the failure to agree a timetable to reduce emissions over the coming decades.