[DEBATE] : Climate talks stalled amid rows
MFleshman at aol.com
MFleshman at aol.com
Fri Dec 14 13:07:34 GMT 2007
The EU is full of organic fertilizer as usual. Kyoto set numerical targets
for reductions that the Europeans cheerfully ignored. Emissions went up. Why
should anybody think a successor agreement will be any different? Ban
ki-moon's sole interest is to salvage his meeting, not the planet.
Buy land in Lesotho friends. It'll soon be beachfront.
Climate talks stalled amid rows
Talks at the UN climate summit in Bali have continued past their scheduled
end despite optimism that a compromise could be reached between the EU and US.
The EU has been pressing for the final text to include a specific commitment
that industrialised nations should cut their emissions by 25-40% by 2020.
The US and Canada oppose firm cuts and neither side shows signs of giving
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was returning to the talks from East
Timor to assist negotiators.
"I will go back to Bali tomorrow [Saturday] morning again to meet with the
delegations... and engage myself in continuing further negotiations," he told
a press briefing in the capital, Dili.
The Indonesian hosts of the climate summit have been trying to bridge the
gulf between the two sides with a text that reportedly excluded firm numerical
targets for 2020, but did contain acceptances that greenhouse gas emissions
need to be stabilised by the end of the next decade and that rich nations
should play the major part in the effort.
Neither the EU nor the US has formally accepted the compromise wording.
Though senior players on both sides have suggested agreement is likely, it
appears that many hours of further discussion may lie ahead.
"I think the situation is good, and the climate in the climate conference is
good, and we will have success in the end," Germany's Environment Minister
Sigmar Gabriel told reporters.
The chief US negotiator Harlan Watson told the AFP news agency: "I'm always
optimistic. I think we will have an agreement."
And the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) Yvo de Boer, who had earlier expressed concerns about the slow pace
of talks, said it was unlikely that the meeting would end without an
"It's possible but it won't happen," he said.
"It won't happen because such public pressure has been built to deliver a
result here, I do not believe ministers will be able to leave this conference
without a political answer to the scientific message they have received.
"Everybody is working hard towards a result, nobody wants to see it fail and
nobody wants to be the country that makes it fail."
The talks are aiming to begin a process - the "Bali roadmap" - that will
eventually lead to a treaty replacing the Kyoto Protocol when its current
targets expire in 2012.
The US, Canada and Japan have consistently opposed EU nations' demands for
concrete targets to be included at this stage.
The US delegation in Bali has come under widespread criticism from
And on Thursday, EU ministers threatened to boycott a US-led climate summit
for major emitters next month unless the Bush administration backed binding
That summit, in Honolulu, will be the second gathering of the "major
economies" or "big emitters" group, an initiative established by the Bush
administration in September.
It works on the basis of voluntary emissions targets, and is widely seen in
environmental groups as a distraction from the UN process.
Among those criticising the US was Nobel laureate and former Vice-President
Al Gore, who spoke to a packed hall on Thursday.
Mr Gore won loud applause from delegates as he said: "My own country, the
United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress in Bali."
But the Nobel Peace Prize laureate also urged delegates not to give up,
reminding them that the US presidential election in 2008 could herald a new
approach in Washington.
"Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not
now. You must anticipate that," he said.
The US is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and most parties
recognise that climate change talks without it would be meaningless.
Meanwhile, a leading US climate scientist told the BBC he was writing to UK
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel asking them
to block construction of coal-fired power stations.
James Hansen says that Britain's early industrialisation means it has
probably produced more greenhouse gases than any other nation.
Story from BBC NEWS:
© BBC MMVII
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