World News Brief, Thursday September 25

World leaders at UN Climate Summit commit to fight climate change; China pledges emissions limits; Japan and US begin high-level talks on Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact; India sends orbiter to Mars; US drone strike in Pakistan kills six; Nicaraguan farmers protest new canal; and more

Top of the Agenda

World Leaders Pledge to Combat Climate Change

Leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday have vowed to direct new energy in enacting policies to fight against climate change (Al Jazeera); speakers directed particular emphasis on the role of the United States and China, the world's biggest polluters. Tuesday's meeting was the precursor to the 2015 Paris summit (NYT) at which leaders hope to sign a binding agreement. More than 300,000 people participated in the People's Climate March on Sunday in New York in advance of the meeting. Tuesday's talks are likely to be overshadowed by United States-led airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria. Obama is set to address the UN General Assembly Wednesday morning and later convene a meeting of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to combat global terrorism.


"The meeting's sole purpose is to mobilize political will for a binding global treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol in December 2015. The president may be tempted to avoid the topic altogether given the upcoming midterm elections. That would be a terrible mistake. He must speak truth to Capitol Hill and to the American people about the enormous U.S. stakes in curbing carbon emissions," writes CFR's Stewart Patrick.

"Climate change, as I write this, is causing displacement, fuelling conflict and jeopardizes development across the world. You could say that either these delegates in New York succeed, or we all fail. But that would be absolving the rest of us from our responsibilities. Let us send a clear and unequivocal signal that failure to act will have consequences at the ballot box for politicians and for the bottom line of businesses. If leaders are unwilling to lead when leadership is required, people must," writes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the Huffington Post.

"World leaders must act on all global challenges when they recognize them. Preventing bank failures and stopping terrorist attacks are important goals; unless we get serious about addressing climate change, we are likely to have more of both," writes African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka in Project Syndicate.



China Pledges Emissions Limits at UN Summit

China pledged to seek to achieve a peak in its carbon emissions "as soon as possible," saying the country would also see a 45 percent drop (SCMP) in carbon emissions intensity by 2020. China is currently the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter.

This CFR Backgrounder discusses China's environmental crisis.

JAPAN: Japan and the United States began high-level talks in Washington to hammer out a long-awaited agreement to secure the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact (KyodoNews).



India Sends Orbiter to Mars

India became the first Asian nation to successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars on Wednesday, doing so on a mission that cost only $74 million (NYT). The success comes just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high-profile trip to the United States later this week.

PAKISTAN: A U.S. drone strike (Dawn) targeting the Dattakhel tehsil of North Waziristan killed at least six people. Pakistan's army began a military operation in the area in June after a militant attack on Karachi's airport.


Nicaraguan farmers protest new canal

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on