COPENHAGEN: If Archbishop Desmond Tutu found himself trapped in an elevator with United States President Barack Obama, he would have a few choice words for the leader of the world's largest polluter.
"Please give the world the deal it is expecting," Tutu said he would say.
"Please let us have a legally-possible deal, not a political statement."
Tutu was responding to a reporter's hypothetical question during a press conference on Sunday that he shared with Bishop Sofie Petersen of Denmark and Rev Tofiga Falani from Tuvalu.
"While developed countries say that they agree to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent, some have said to me that is too modest," Tutu continued.
"It should be 80 percent by the year 2050. Please do not hesitate to contribute $10 billion for assisting developing countries, so they can buy clean energy to replace the fossil fuel."
Tutu told reporters that he and the other religious leaders were concerned that developing countries could be left to bear the brunt of coping with climate change.
"We have only one world, this world, if we destroy it, this world disappears," Tutu said.
And he had a message for ordinary citizens of the United States - easily the world's largest producers of greenhouse gases - on the subject of climate change.
"We are all connected," he said. "If we go down, we will pull you down. The rich countries, especially the United States, are not able to quarantine themselves. There is no place that is going to be safe. If we go down, we all go down."
(China Daily 12/15/2009 page11)