Thursday, December 13, 2007

US told to 'wake up' over climate change

Guardian (UK): The EU was in a showdown with the US over climate change policy today, demanding Washington "wake up" and describing next month's US-led talks on emissions cuts as "senseless" without binding targets. Speaking as the deadlocked UN climate change conference in Bali entered final hour talks, EU officials said president Bush's climate change meeting next month in Hawaii was "meaningless" if Bali did not produce an "ambitious roadmap".

Earlier today in a speech to the conference, former US vice president Al Gore accused the US of being "principally responsible" for blocking progress on climate change prevention. Gore urged delegates at the conference to take urgent action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. "My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali," he said.

He also called for implementing the new global warming treaty two years earlier than planned, in 2010. The current Kyoto protocol expires in 2012. The United States has opposed including in a final conference document a suggestion that industrialised countries reduce emissions by between 25% and 40% by 2020.

Stavros Dimas, the European commissioner for the environment, said that the 25-40% cut in emissions for rich countries was an "indispensable" part of a text that must be agreed in Bali tomorrow night if nations are to join together to fight climate change. The US wants the figures removed from the document, which will provide the foundation for a new global treaty on global warming after Kyoto expires.

EU officials argue the targets are crucial because the world needs an idea of where it is heading, whereas Washington argues nations have been quick to agree to targets and then have failed to meet them. The disagreement threatens the prospect of the talks in Bali, where there are representatives from more than 180 countries, ending in failure.

UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said he was worried the US-EU impasse could derail the process and that a final "Bali roadmap" would contain an agreement to negotiate a new climate deal by 2009, but may not include specific targets for emission reductions. Dimas said the EU was not threatening to boycott Bush's initiative, announced in September, to bring together the world's big polluters – such as China and the US – but the language from EU officials showed the escalating tension.

"What is a roadmap without a destination?" said Dimas. "Europe has long been leading the fight against climate change. Now is the time for other industrial nations to wake up and show leadership, not only in words but in deeds." The Portuguese environment secretary Humberto Rosa said: "We support the major economies meeting but it is senseless if the Bali meeting is a failure."

Rosa insisted the EU is not "boycotting" the US-led meeting next month in Hawaii, saying: "We're not blackmailing anyone. No Bali, no meeting - we take it as logical, not blackmail." The United States delegation said while it continues to reject inclusion of specific emission cut targets, it hopes eventually to reach an agreement that is "environmentally effective" and "economically sustainable."

Haggling over numbers now was counterproductive, said Jim Connaughton, the chairman of the White House council on environmental quality. The United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the only major industrial country to have rejected the Kyoto protocol.


My pictures said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My pictures said...

Hello, I liked your blog a lot. I have been studying here the effects of climatic changes in insects. Southern Hemisphere is still very lacking of data on impacts of the climatic changes. I would Like to know more about their works.