Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Chinese whispers at Bali Climate Conference

I heard on the radio that the Chinese are giving the developed world a bollocking over their emissions targets. Fair call. They have more people that will be affected than anyone else.

So I trotted over to China Daily (I'm becoming a regular these days), and found out that,..

China is well on its way to acquiring fully 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020, while the United States is dragging its feet on transitioning away from fossil fuels...

... but no bollocking. And that,..

Asia, home to 60 per cent of the world's population, will bear the brunt of global warming as more extreme climatic changes take place within the region.

... but still no bollocking. Nevertheless they had a pretty good run down on the conference to date.

Bali climate talks advance despite squabbling

Updated: 2007-12-04 23:19

Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official, praised the December 3-14 meeting of 10,000 participants for progress towards a goal of launching formal talks on a long-term climate pact to succeed the UN's Kyoto Protocol.

"But in this process, as in so many, the devil's in the detail," he cautioned at a beach-side conference centre on the Indonesian island.

Governments set up a "special group" to examine options for the planned negotiations meant to bind the United States and developing nations more firmly into fighting climate change beyond Kyoto.

The meeting also agreed to study ways to do more to transfer clean technologies, such as solar panels or wind turbines, to developing nations. Such a move is key to greater involvement by developing nations in tackling their climate-warming emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol now binds 36 rich nations to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, by an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 in a step to curb droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising seas.

Canada said in a submission to the talks that "to be effective, a new international framework must include emission reduction obligations for all the largest emitting economies." It did not mention deeper cuts for rich nations beyond 2012.

And Japan on Monday called on all parties to effectively participate and contribute substantially.

"Canada and Japan are saying nothing about legally binding emission reductions for themselves after 2012," said Steven Guilbeault of environmental group Equiterre. "They are trying to shift the burden to China and India."

Then I found some promising stories. One about the Chinese delegate Su Wei, essentially saying developing nations had more at stake in the fight against climate change than developed nations. This exposes the threadbare logic of deniers claiming there is no sense in western nations doing anything about global warming, based on the rationale China is just about to overtake the US in emissions output.

Mr Wei also telegraphed China's attitude to Son of Kyoto — more of the same. This leae the US less room to spoil for 2012.

Su said the future arrangement to address climate change should focus on enhancing implementation of current provisions of the Convention and its Kyodo [sic] Protocol, and further strengthen those provisions in accordance to the latest scientific assessments.

Latest scientific assessments. Perhaps the US will start to consider them too, now that they have rediscovered what military intelligence is used for.

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