By Chioma GABRIEL,Â Deputy Editor
Delta state Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, United States, Premier Jean Charest of Quebec, Canada, President Jean Paul Huchon of Region of Ile-de France and Mr. Cherif Rahmani, the Algerian Environment Minister, who leads the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Africa Group, in Copenhagen, Denmark,Â to form a new coalition of sub-national leaders that would fast track the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit, known as Club of 20 Regions or R20. These are to encourage their various national governments to take action and show stronger commitments in fighting climate change.
These founding members from their declaration will work out the coalitionâ€™s principles, formulate a shared vision of global security and prosperity and recruit other sub national members for an official launch of the Club of 20 Regions (R20) next September. The R20 coalition is an extension of the Declaration signed at Governor Schwarzeneggerâ€™s Governorsâ€™ Global Climate Summit 2 in October, which Governor Uduaghan attended.
Speaking at the reception for this group, Governor Uduaghan explained that his mission was to see that his commitment to ending the stateâ€™s dependence on oil receives international support, as part of his goal to build an economy that is less dependent on crude oil.
According to him, â€œI have a particular interest in charging my people to understand the challenges of climate change and to encourage them to key into a new economy that is not built on oil. My position is that oil is not renewable and is subject to boom and burst, and now we have to contend with its environmental hazards. In addition, we are now facing the prospect of a gradual elimination of oil as the dominant global commodity. I want my people to be ready for the realities of this century. R20 will help me do that.â€
Governor Schwarzenegger in his own comments said:Â â€œR20 will help pave the way in the transition to a green economy that will clean the environment, create green jobs and respond to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Action is needed at the national and international levels to reduce the effects of global warming, but California has shown that state and regional governments can also institute policies on their own that will see real environmental improvements and grow green jobs.
R20 will continue that sub national leadership around the world by recognizing that meeting the challenges of climate change requires an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration through all levels of government.â€
According to Premier Jean Charest of Quebec, â€œQuÃ©bec is known as a leader among sub national states when it comes to mitigating greenhouse gases and adapting to the impacts of climate change. I am convinced that we can and should play an important role in the fight against climate change.â€
By Coming together members of the R20 are expected in the days ahead to commit to sharing successful climate solutions, transferring innovative technology to implement targets and combining voices to urge negotiators toward a post_Kyoto climate agreement.
The members of R20 will prepare a work plan to: Develop a shared vision for global security and prosperity; Pursue adaptation strategies to address current and future climate change; Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; Support public_private partnerships and the use of finance mechanisms to address global warming; Promote technology transfer and capacity building agreements.