Thursday, October 2, 2008

Financial storm dims hope of UN climate pact

Economic Times (India): Global financial mayhem is dimming prospects for a strong new UN pact to fight climate change, but it might aid cheap green schemes such as insulating buildings to save energy, analysts said. The turmoil, straining government coffers with bank bailouts, may sap interest in more costly projects such as burying heat-trapping carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants, refining biodiesel or some renewable energies.

"There will be a shift in investments" toward energy efficiency, said Nick Mabey, director of E3G think-tank in London. Saving energy, such as by insulating buildings, gives quick returns and can help create jobs. A year ago, many governments were billing the fight against warming as humanity's top long-term challenge after the UN Climate Panel said human use of fossil fuels would bring more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising seas.

Now, with the United States caught in a financial storm that may cost $700 billion of taxpayers' money to fix, a plan to agree a new UN treaty to fight global warming in Copenhagen in December 2009 is looking ever more ambitious. … "It's starting to weigh on peoples' minds that the whole process could go completely wrong," said Mabey. In the worst case, the negotiations could collapse, like UN trade talks….

The Naughty Grandson, Georgios Iakovidis (1853-1932)

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