Saturday, December 13, 2008

Environmentalists perturbed as UN climate talks end

Environmental groups voiced frustration at the slow pace of negotiations as the United Nations climate change talks in Poznan, Poland came to an end.

They blamed particularly the wealthy nations for not taking the lead in supporting the transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"Yet again the rich countries, who carry the historical responsibility for climate change, have failed to offer sufficient cuts," Tim Jones of the World Development Movement told the BBC echoing the concerns of most other environmental groups attending the conference.

Nations will need to work quickly to reach an agreement by the proposed target date of 2009.

The United States was considered particularly unhelpful, or at least the official Bush Delegation was in advancing an agenda to deal with climate change. Delegates visited more with unofficial U.S. delegates like John Kerry and Al Gore. From the Washington Post:

German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said he was taken aback that Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs and head of the U.S. delegation, informed him that the United States would never make the 20-to-45 percent emissions cut (by 2020) that Europeans hope to include in a final pact because Congress will not even back Obama's more modest target.

"It was unbelievable," Gabriel said.

Gabriel said he was more intrigued by his meeting with Kerry, in which the senator emphasized that the United States could sign a deal in Copenhagen even if it had not yet enacted a domestic carbon cap, as long as the pact included meaningful action on the part of major emerging economies, such as those in China and India.

BBC News

Interim Climate Pact Approved
Washington Post - 15 hours ago
By Juliet Eilperin POZNAN, Poland, Dec. 13 -- The effort to come up with a global warming treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol inched forward Saturday morning as delegates to United Nations-sponsored talks here agreed on a narrowly framed interim ...
Near-Paralysis at UN Climate Talks Ends With Vow for New Treaty Bloomberg
At Poland climate talks, Al Gore calls for tough CO2 limits Christian Science Monitor

CLIMATE CHANGE: Poznan Produces a 'Vision Gap'
IPS, Italy - 1 hour ago
POZNAN, Dec 13 (IPS) - The United Nations climate change conference ended on a bitter note in the early hours of Saturday. The developing and emerging ...
The Problem in Poznan Council on Foreign Relations
Dispatch from Poznan: 'The American problem' Grist Magazine
Polish Coal, Yvo de Boer's Need for a Vacation, and Why Poznan is ... UN Dispatch

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