*NEWS*CLIMATE SUMMIT OPENS IN MONTREAL

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*NEWS*CLIMATE SUMMIT OPENS IN MONTREAL

 user 2005-11-30 at 10:42:00 am Views: 55
  • #13240

    Climate summit opens in Montreal
    The
    first United Nations climate conference since the Kyoto agreement came
    into force in February has opened with the US still resisting targets.

    Delegates
    meeting in the Canadian city of Montreal are to discuss how targets on
    cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the next seven years will be met.
    Thousands of scientists, officials and environmentalists are attending 12 days of talks.
    They will also look at what measures will follow in 2012 when Kyoto expires.
    As
    host government, Canada is trying to find a formula which would enable
    the US, other industrialised countries and the developing nations to
    unite under a combined statement on future action.
    A no-confidence
    vote due to be held in Canada later on Monday may disrupt proceedings
    as the minority Liberal government looks set to lose, and its defeat
    would trigger an election campaign.
    US resistance
    The US, which
    fears the Kyoto deal could harm development and economic growth, has in
    any case said it would resist the Canadian proposal.
    The one thing
    that we don’t want to see, and cannot afford, is to allow this US
    administration to hold the rest of the world hostage
    Steve Sawyer
    Greenpeace
    President Bush’s chief environmental advisor, James Connaughton, made clear the US would not support binding targets.
    “We
    don’t need them,” he told reporters, pushing the case that “many of the
    more consequential initiatives [on cutting emissions] have occurred
    outside of a treaty process.”
    Because the US has not ratified Kyoto, it will take no formal part in discussions held under its provisions.
    However,
    the Americans do have a place at the table in Montreal, because they
    are participants in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – the
    broader agreement which gave rise to the legally binding protocol.
    Canadian
    Environment Minister Stephane Dion told the BBC he was interested in
    seeking a rapprochement amongst countries with different views on the
    best approach to tackling climate change.
    Developing countries’ share
    Environmental
    pressure groups argue it is pointless to attempt to re-engage the Bush
    administration on meaningful worldwide action on global warming.
    “The
    one thing… we cannot afford is to allow this US administration to
    hold the rest of the world hostage while they go on about voluntary
    this and voluntary that,” Steve Sawyer of Greenpeace told the BBC.
    UK
    government officials, negotiating on behalf of the EU as Britain holds
    the current presidency, are determined to use the Montreal talks to
    demonstrate that binding targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions
    are here to stay.
    They also believe flexibility will be needed in
    the measures developing countries may be persuaded to adopt to limit
    the growth in their own emissions as their economies expand.
    That is an extremely sensitive subject, our correspondent says.
    A
    key measure of the success or otherwise of this conference will be if
    the first tentative signs emerge that countries such as China, India
    and Brazil are prepared even to talk about taking on formal commitments
    of their own in the global battle against climate change