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600,000 Americans seek change in US climate policy
MONTREAL (AFP) Dec 03, 2005
US environmental groups presented the US consulate in Montreal with 600,000 signatures seeking US action on global warming as international delegations met here for the UN Climate Change Conference, organizers said Saturday.

"We are here representing the people of the United States who want action to be taken," said Ted Glick, of the Climate Crisis Coalition.

"Sixty percent of the American people want action taken on global warming," he said.

"Unfortunately we have a delegation at the climate conference who just say things like, 'we don't want to have any discussion about what.' ... And they are playing a role which is obstructing our progress on this critical crisis," Glick said.

He said the 600,000 came from 190 cities in the United States.

He was accompanied by dozens of activists from Vermont, Greenpeace USA, Energy Action, Environmental Defense, Climate Crisis Coalition and Kyoto USA.

"It is clear that there's a distinction between what the people of United States want to do on this issue and where the Bush administration is," said Chris Miller, of Greenpeace USA.

"And it's also really important that the countries and the delegates that are here to move forward are not be waiting for the Bush administration to engage on this issue."

Harlan Watson, head of the US delegation, was blunt in rejecting US inclusion in Kyoto-style agreements.

"The United States is opposed to any such discussions," he told reporters last week.

The United States refused to ratify the Kyoto agreement, which called for reductions by six percent of emissions from their 1990 levels, saying the reductions applied more stringently to developed countries than to developing ones.

Some 10,000 delegates and members of environmental groups meet here until December 9 as part of the UN Climate Change Conference on and what comes after the Kyoto accord, which expires in 2012.

So-called greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, which is generated by burning of fossil fuels like gas, oil and coal, enlarge an atmospheric layer that blocks radiant heat from escaping Earth and into space.

Scientists worry that the resulting increased temperatures are melting polar ice caps and heating tropical seas, with unknown and possibly disastrous consequences for Earth's weather, flora and fauna.

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