Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saudis block call for warming report

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Saudi Arabia on Thursday blocked a call by vulnerable island states at climate talks for a study into the impact of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming, delegates said. The appeal came from the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), gathering low-lying islands in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific, which is lobbying hard for the UN climate arena not to abandon the 1.5 C target.

The goal is receding as emissions of greenhouse gases rise and political problems for tackling climate change multiply. AOSIS, supported by the European Union (EU), Australia and New Zealand, called for a technical report on the cost of reaching the 1.5 C target and the consequences of breaching it.

But it was thwarted by Saudi Arabia, with support from Kuwait and Qatar, under the UN's consensus rule, the sources said. Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers argue that ratcheting up action on carbon emissions will hurt their revenues as fossil-fuel consumers switch to cleaner energy.

The spat soured the mood in Bonn, where a 12-day round under the 194-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) draws to a close on Friday. "The atmosphere [in the meeting] was very bad. Many countries said they were very disappointed with the Saudis," said one source…..

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