UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth: Climate Change Report Underscores Importance of Actions beyond Kyoto Protocol

Washington, D.C.

January 24, 2005


Megan Rabbitt

United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth issued the following statement in response to the release of a report by the International Climate Change Taskforce. Wirth is a member of the taskforce.

“This report underscores the critical importance of coming to grips with the issue of global climate change. The taskforce has done something that I don’t think anyone else has taken on – it identifies pathways for those nations that are not part of the Kyoto Protocol’s commitments, such as the United States and major developing nations, to work together with other nations to aggressively address the threat of climate change, to the benefit of all. Under the terms of the UN Climate Treaty, which the United States ratified in 1992, the world community has to think ahead and begin to plan our next steps.

“The taskforce report highlights the need for a transformative revolution in energy and transport technologies to address three major global security interests: climate change, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and combating poverty by providing modern energy services to the two billion people who currently lack such access.

“The taskforce offers a first road map for such critical issues as:

• What limits do we think the world can tolerate?
• What requirements must be included in the energy mix?
• How can developing countries be brought into the process?
• What immediate global research and development expenditures will be required?
• What are the near-term steps to deploy cleaner, less-polluting technologies?

“Prime Minister Tony Blair is providing important global leadership on climate change, highlighting it as a priority for the G-8 Summit this year. The taskforce is outlining a strategy which, with the Prime Minister’s leadership, the United States and all nations can embrace.”


The United Nations Foundation (UNF) was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic gift to support United Nations’ causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the UN. Through its grant making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.