Washington (AFP) Dec 2, 2010
The United States must freeze climate-change aid payments to developing countries to help them implement a global plan agreed in Denmark's capital last year, four US lawmakers said Thursday.
Republican Senators John Barrasso, James Inhofe, David Vitter, and George Voinovich told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Washington cannot to spend the money at a time of swelling deficits and a bloated national debt.
"We remain opposed to the US commitment to full implementation of the Copenhagen Accord, which will transfer billions of US taxpayer dollars to developing nations in the name of climate change," they said in a letter.
"We do not believe that billions of US taxpayer dollars should be transferred to developing countries through unaccountable multilateral or bilateral channels for adaptation, deforestation and other international climate finance programs," they told the top US diplomat.
The lawmakers said total US climate-related government spending in 2010 reached 1.3 billion dollars, and President Barack Obama has requested 1.9 billion for 2011 -- out of 3.6 trillion dollars in annual government spending.
"We request that the administration freeze further spending requests to implement international climate change finance programs. This would include making no additional international commitments to fund such programs," they said.
Republicans routed Obama's Democratic allies in November 2 elections, retaking the House of Representatives and slicing deep into the Democratic majority in the Senate, giving them a firmer grip on the reins in Washington.
House Republicans announced late Wednesday that they were dismantling the committee, created by Democrats, focused on battling climate change, calling it a waste of money.
earlier related report
Global warming, mortality in childbirth and conflict in central Africa were all on the agenda, according to organisers.
"The majority of member states of the paritary ACP-EU parliamentary assembly are among those that make the lowest contributions to greenhouse gases" causing global warming, DR Congo President Joseph Kabila said in opening remarks.
"The asymetric nature of the situation in terms of responsibility for the warning of the planet and exposure to its consequences is morally unacceptable, politically and economically unsupportable," Kabila told some 450 lawmakers from 110 countries. "It calls for courageous and responsible decisions."
The co-presidents of the ACP-EU assembly, the Zambian David Matongo and the Belgian Louis Michel both stressed the importance of the themes set down for debate, including climate change, insecurity in the Sahel, maternal mortality and the situations in DR Congo and central Africa.
According to the assembly's economic development commission, transfers of technology with low rates of carbon emission from wealthy to the most vulnerable nations, particularly those in the ACP group, are "a key element of any international response" to help cope with climate change.
Only 0.2 percent of European aid is currently invested in renewable energy. But Africa's potential in renewable energy is hugely under-exploited, with only seven percent of the hydraulic dam potential and one percent of geothermal energy currently being used, according to a report to be debated on Friday.
The matter of maternal mortality will be raised by Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, according to the organisers.
Delegates will also give an international award, the Jean Rey prize, to the Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital at Bukavu in the southwest Sud-Kivu province, a specialist in caring for women who have been the victim of multiple rapes.
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The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations is also seen in the measurements made by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at the Pallas station, where the annual increase has been 2.0 ppm. The increase continued last year, too. These measurements also reflect the impact of seasonal variation: forests act as effective carbon sinks during the growing season, whereas in the autumn and winte ... read more
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