Thursday, August 25, 2016


Uncertainty Prevails On Climate Treaty Ahead Of Copenhagen Summit

The Copenhagen talks may result in a nonbinding declaration on battling global warming, but no treaty.
The Copenhagen talks may result in a nonbinding declaration on battling global warming, but no treaty.
By Antoine Blua
Nearly five weeks before the start of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the United Nations has signaled that it has reduced its expectations about reaching agreement on a new treaty to slow global warming.

More than 15,000 officials from 192 countries are expected to attend the UN conference from December 7-18. They will try to reach an agreement that would replace provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

In Copenhagen, it was hoped countries would agree on tougher emissions targets for industrialized nations, new targets for developing countries, and funding for poorer nations to adapt to climate change and to curb their own greenhouse gas emissions.

But Janos Pasztor, climate adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, says Copenhagen most likely won't produce a treaty. He predicts that Copenhagen will push governments as far as they can go on the content of an agreement.

John M. Broder, an energy and environment reporter at the Washington bureau of "The New York Times," tells RFE/RL that the talks will likely lead to a nonbinding political declaration and that international negotiators will agree to continue discussions on a comprehensive treaty next year.

Broder says it is hard to say how far the Copenhagen meeting will be able to go.

"I think it will set the developed countries on a path toward reducing their emissions below a certain benchmark. Whether that is 2005 or 1990, whether it's 10 or 20 percent below, those things probably will not be agreed to," he says. "I think the developing world will agree that they have to slow the pace of growth of their emissions. There will also probably be pieces on financing and adaptation."

One unresolved issue is an agreement on emission reduction targets for key industrialized countries -- notably the United States, the No. 2 emitter behind China. Other issues include financing for poorer nations, and the best way to deliver and manage those funds.

Broder says one big obstacle to a deal is the unwillingness of the U.S. Congress to enact legislation on reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels before Copenhagen.

"The United States' negotiators will be unable to put a firm proposal on the table in Copenhagen. Without a firm and binding pledge in domestic law from the United States, the other countries -- India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia -- will not deliver binding targets of their own," Broder says.

According to Kim Carstensen, the leader of the World Wildlife Fund's Global Climate initiative, what is now needed is political will and determination, not diplomatic pessimism.

He tells RFE/RL that it is still possible to outline the core elements of a climate agreement.

"It is very, very likely that the final details of an agreement will have to be negotiated in legal form in 2010," Carstensen says. "What is really important is that the Copenhagen meeting ends up with a clear political agreement on a legally binding format and text of what will be the future climate regime. And I think that is really doable."
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Comment Sorting
by: Lizanne Thompson from: United States, Oregon
November 02, 2009 15:49
While I cannot pretend that I understand the immensity of the pollution upon the face of the Earth, I personally see some problems with the commitment of money from any Nation in these times.

Would it not be better to begin with volunteers from as many countries as would participate; to begin the process of both education, as well as initial implementation of a prototype, an example of our current understanding from which each Country could both model, as well as offer more efficient contributions to the whole of the process.

There are stunning minds throughout this planet.; let them come forth, for their ideas, should they be considered, and/or implemented will help build a true and beneficial sense of dignity/pride, as is their right, first as human beings, secondly Country Pride.

Rather than charging a specific fee to each Country, I suggest that those individuals participating, bring whatever monies and supplies to the project location, as needed. This will help curtail fraud, and minimize expense.

This program could be held in the minds of the participants as something similar to the Peace Corps, which the USA once implemented, in the past.

We have all made our mistakes, and yes, I suspect that all industrialized Countries recognize the need to clean up our own mess', as well as help in the process of other Countries' cleansing.

To tax these Countries, would be counter-productive, and considered a "punishment". This would interfere with the "excitement" of those who would step forward, using their creative minds, freely; hence, to better facilitate the World's need, and goals.

Given the evolving consciousness and sense of responsibility that is spreading across this Planet, exponentially, I assure you that, do to the sense of urgency, as well as the consuming need for All Peoples upon the face of this Earth to build self-esteem through co-operation-all that we need will become available.

Let those Countries that HAVE, contribute more; and they willingly will do so, should they be given the opportunity to do so, freely.

We must keep costs at a minimum, as many of the Industrialized Countries are currently over-burdened with tremendous economic issues, which are eroding their info-structure.

We must take care of our own, that we once again can, from our abundance, offer our services to others.

Service is to be incremented, not mandated, as each Country is able to contribute, ie personnel, money, supplies, etc.

Even as the health of the World population, should be a non-profit service, so too, should this project be a non-profit program, with oversight.

Let's make this THE most cost-effective cooperation yet envisioned, created, upon the face of this Planet.

-Lizanne Thompson

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