Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Negotiators gather to push new UN climate treaty

by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) March 30, 2008
Negotiators from up to 180 countries began gathering here on Sunday for talks aimed at reaching the most ambitious treaty yet for sparing the Earth from the worst ravages of global warming.

The five-day talks, starting Monday, follow marathon negotiations in December on the Indonesian island of Bali where the world set a 2009 deadline for thrashing out a landmark pact to battle climate change.

The Bangkok meeting is the first step toward reaching that new agreement, which should take effect when commitments on cutting harmful greenhouse gas emissions under the existing Kyoto Protocol expire in 2012.

Even the United States, which pulled out of the Kyoto deal, is taking part despite its reputation as a naysayer in efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which trap the sun's heat and warm the planet.

The talks "are critical in the sense that the conference in Bali last year formally agreed to launch negotiations, which have to be concluded at the end of 2009," said Yvo de Boer, head of the UN climate body tasked with hammering out the treaty.

"I don't expect many sticking points at this meeting. What this meeting has to do is agree a work programme and agree what is going to be discussed so that we know that we can meet the deadline in a year-and-a-half's time," de Boer told AFP.

He urged countries to stay focused on the task at hand, and not get bogged down in the kind of details that almost derailed the Bali talks.

"If you look at the amount of time available in Bangkok ... there is an awful amount of work to be done in very little time," he cautioned.

Talks in Bali almost fell apart as nations fought over who was historically responsible for climate change, who should foot the bill, and whether both rich and poor nations should have binding targets on cutting carbon emissions.

Europe and developing countries want rich nations to set a binding target for 2020, requiring them to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 25 to 40 percent below their levels in 1990.

Under US pressure the final Bali Roadmap did not include explicit goals. Frustration with the US stance grew so great in Bali that American delegates were booed during the conference's closing hours.

However, with the US presidential elections later this year, President George W. Bush's administration may not want to leave the White House with a legacy as holdouts against environmental progress, activists said.

"There is a kind of a legacy issue at play here for the Bush administration, I think they want to be viewed as constructive in its last year," said Angela Anderson, director of the global warming programme at the Washington-based Pew Environment Group.

No one expects a major breakthrough at the Bangkok talks, which are designed to allow countries to stake their starting positions in negotiations that will continue through next year.

"Every country comes at this now trying to figure out what's in their individual interests as well as the global interests," said Anderson.

But activists around the world have kept up the pressure by keeping the issue in the spotlight, sometimes by turning the spotlight off.

At least 26 cities across the globe joined an "Earth Hour" campaign on Saturday evening, dimming their lights for one hour to demonstrate how the planet can save energy.

The human risks of climate change were also highlighted Friday when the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution declaring the problem a human rights issue, noting that the poor are more vulnerable to the effects of global warming.

Global scientists last year delivered their starkest warning yet -- that without action, global warming could have an irreversible impact on the world, bringing hunger, floods, drought and the extinction of many plants and animals.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is holding the Bangkok talks, has 192 member nations.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Curbing soot could blunt global warming: study
Paris (AFP) March 23, 2008
Sharply reducing the amount of black carbon -- commonly known as soot -- in the atmosphere could help slow global warming and buy precious time in the long-term fight against climate change, according to a study released Sunday.

  • Raytheon Develops Advanced Concrete Breaking Technology For Urban Search And Rescue
  • Floods, cyclones, devastate southern Africa: UN
  • Louisiana System Built Homes Completes First Fortified For Safer Living Home
  • Mozambique tourist resort struggles to recover from cyclone

  • Negotiators gather to push new UN climate treaty
  • No Laughing Matter - Bacteria Are Releasing A Serious Greenhouse Gas
  • Small Desert Beetle Found To Engineer Ecosystems
  • Yes You Can Rescue A Rainforest

  • Satellites Can Help Arctic Grazers Survive Killer Winter Storms
  • CrIS Atmospheric Sounder Completes Vibration Testing
  • NASA Goddard Delivers Aquarius Radiometer To JPL
  • Brazil, Germany To Develop Night-Vision Radar Satellite

  • Analysis: Basra fight hurts oil exports
  • Analysis: U.K. firm to audit Turkmen gas
  • Philippine oil company sets aside 26 mln dlrs for biofuel plantations
  • Analysis: Iran extends influence

  • Vaccine For Ebola Virus
  • Brazil battles deadly dengue epidemic in Rio
  • UN spotlights scope of AIDS epidemic in Asia
  • Indonesia's bird flu situation 'grave'

  • Armed Beetles Find A Mate, Whatever Their Size
  • International Team Of Scientists Discover Clue To Delay Of Life On Earth
  • Insects Take A Bigger Bite Out Of Plants In A Higher CO2 World
  • Mantis Shrimp Vision Reveals New Way That Animals Can See

  • Ballast-Free Ship Could Cut Costs While Blocking Aquatic Invaders
  • Albania sitting on communist-era powder keg
  • China to spend more on cutting pollution: report
  • Black Carbon Pollution Emerges As Major Player In Global Warming

  • Preschool Kids Do Better On Tasks When They Talk To Themselves
  • Neurons Hard Wired To Tell Left From Right
  • Researchers Urge Ethics Guidelines For Human-Genome Research
  • Upright Walking Began 6 Million Years Ago

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement