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Dec-17-2009 21:56printcomments

Sarkozy: Failure in Copenhagen Would be a Catastrophe

European leaders expressed themselves in no uncertain terms when addressing fellow heads of state and governments attending the penultimate day of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
(Photo: Scanpix/AFP)

(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) - While climate negotiations continued at full stretch in the Bella Center on how to share the burden of carbon emissions cuts and the cost of global warming, European leaders took turns in delivering their peptalks in the plenary hall.

"There is less than 24 hours. If we carry on like this, it will be a failure," French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned from the conference podium, according to Reuters.

"Time is against us, let's stop posturing.... A failure in Copenhagen would be a catastrophe for each and every one of us," he said in his speech, AFP reports.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed the conference with a plea for countries to "overcome obstacles". He called for a 10-billion-dollar annual fund to help developing nations cope with climate change and hoped for a legally binding agreement within six months.

"We cannot permit the politics of narrow self interest to prevent a policy for human survival. For all of us there is no greater national interest than the common future of this planet," Brown concluded his warning, according to The Guardian.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned appeal saying that global warming is a task for all of us:

"We need to show the world works together, as we did in the economic and financial crisis. Please, in this spirit, let us all work over the next 24 hours so that tomorrow we will be able to meet again in this hall and show that we have understood, life cannot go on as it was. The world needs to change. Let us all work together fruitfully in these 24 hours," Angela Merkel said, according to

Source: United Nations Climate Change Conference

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.