World Leaders Agree On New Global Framework for Climate Change

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Call for global carbon taxes, clean technology revolution and $50 billion fund.


A diverse coalition of world leaders, including former heads of state and government as well as leaders from business, government and civil society from more than 20 countries, released today a comprehensive framework for global action to confront climate change. Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) is a partnership of the Club of Madrid and the United Nations Foundation.

The GLCA report makes 11 recommendations for upcoming negotiations, with the aim of reducing global carbon emissions 60% below 1990 levels by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 2-2.5 degrees Celsius. The recommendations were released by the GLCA co-chairs, former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth, at the G-8+5’s Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change taking place in Berlin September 10-11, 2007.

“We believe our recommendations represent the best, most effective steps that must be taken on a global basis to successfully address climate change. As one of humanity’s most pressing and difficult challenges, the climate crisis cannot be effectively resolved if we are constrained by political correctness,” said Ricardo Lagos. “Therefore, we recommend a comprehensive agreement that includes all countries, all sectors, all emissions sources and sinks, and mitigation as well as adaptation. We agree that developed countries must lead global emissions reduction efforts decisively. And we recognize that not all developing countries are alike – some are rapidly industrializing, and some are least developed – and the engagement of these countries should be differentiated,” Lagos said.

“The GLCA recommendations recognize that climate change presents a tremendous opportunity to spur the development of low-cost, low-carbon technologies that will create new jobs and economic growth,” Wirth said. “We also propose mobilizing public and private finances to support adaptation measures, avoided deforestation, and clean energy deployment in developing countries.”

The GLCA framework proposes four pathways to be addressed in upcoming negotiations:

Mitigation – Targets, Timetables, Market-Based Mechanisms

•    To collectively reduce global emissions by at least 60% below 1990 levels by 2050, developed countries, including the United States, should adopt effective targets and timetables for reductions. As a first step, this could include a commitment to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020. Rapidly industrializing countries, including China and India, should commit to reduce their energy intensity by 30% by 2020 (an average of 4% per year) and agree to emissions reduction targets afterwards. Other developing countries should commit to energy intensity targets differentiated by their responsibilities and capabilities.

•    A carbon price should be set through carbon taxes or trading. The preferable mechanism is a system of harmonized, universal carbon taxes.


•    Adaptation to the effects of climate change must be addressed and should be seen as part of sustainable development and strategies to alleviate poverty. Centers for Adaptation in Agriculture should be established, particularly in Africa.

Technology Development and Cooperation

•    Recent global declines in investments for energy research and development should be reversed. Aggregate public expenditures should be increased to US$20 billion per year.

•    In order to encourage collaboration on a “clean technology revolution,” the formation of a Consultative Group on Clean Energy Research should be considered.


•    The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) should be reformed in order to deliver its full potential. In addition, a new market mechanism should support transformation of whole sectors of rapidly industrializing countries.

•    A climate fund of additional resources, starting at US$10 billion and growing to US$50 billion per year, should be established to support climate change activities in developing countries (adaptation, avoided deforestation, and clean energy development and deployment).

About GLCA: Global Leadership for Climate Action was convened by the United Nations Foundation and the Club of Madrid to mobilize political will for far-reaching, long-term action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Building on the political and policy expertise of the members of the Club of Madrid and expertise of the United Nations Foundation, GLCA consists of six former heads of state, seven former heads of government, and 12 leaders from government, business and civil society, who together represent more than 20 countries.

GLCA is co-chaired by Ricardo Lagos, President of the Club of Madrid and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, and Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation. Additional information, including a full list of the members of GLCA, can be found at

About the United Nations Foundation:

The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems and also works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. The UN Foundation is a public charity. For more information, visit

About the Club of Madrid

The Club of Madrid is an independent organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its Members – 64 democratic former heads of state and government. For more information, visit


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