*NEWS*ECONOMIST WARNS OF GLOBAL WARMING

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*NEWS*ECONOMIST WARNS OF GLOBAL WARMING

 user 2007-02-19 at 1:11:00 pm Views: 69
  • #17733

    Economist Warns Global Warming Disaster Looms
    UNITED
    NATIONS (Feb.07) – The world faces a global warming disaster if the
    United States and China do not take decisive action to cut greenhouse
    gas emissions, a leading economist said at the U.N. Friday.Jeffrey
    Sachs, speaking at the U.N. with British economist Sir Nicholas Stern,
    said the commitment of the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases is
    “absolutely fundamental” to forging a comprehensive agreement on global
    warming.”It’s a mistake to let either China or the U.S. think they are
    doing a lot,” said Sachs, former head of the U.N. Millennium Project.
    “We have to look at the numbers all the time, not just the direction,
    not the sentiment, not the announcements. We have to look at the
    numbers because that’s all that counts in the end.”Stern said, however,
    that both the U.S. and China are doing more to cut carbon dioxide
    emissions than the other believes.He said many U.S. states and cities
    have set target reductions for themselves, and China has imposed heavy
    taxes on things like sport utility vehicles and energy-intensive
    industries.In a 700-page report last year, Stern said unabated climate
    change would eventually cost the equivalent of between 5 percent and 20
    percent of global gross domestic product each year. The report
    challenges the U.S. government’s wait-and-see policies.President Bush
    kept the United States – by far the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide
    and other gases blamed by scientists for global warming – out of the
    Kyoto treaty to reduce greenhouse gases, saying it would harm the U.S.
    economy.The Bush administration has said it is committed instead to
    advancing and investing in new technologies to combat global warming.
    It has set a goal of reducing “greenhouse gas intensity,” which
    measures the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to economic output, by
    18 percent by 2012.”Our voluntary programs are working. In 2005, our
    voluntary partnerships prevented over 85 million metric tons of
    greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jessica Emond, a spokeswoman for the
    Environmental Protection Agency.China announced this month it will
    spend more to research global warming, but said it lacks the money and
    technology to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On Monday,
    the country’s environmental watchdog said it had failed to reach any of
    its pollution control goals for 2006.Stern said the world must shift to
    a “low-carbon global economy” through measures including the
    development of new technologies, taxation, carbon trading and increased
    aid for developing countries. He said acting now to cut emissions would
    cost about 1 percent of global GDP each year.Sachs questioned whether
    it was feasible to make such a massive transition in the next 50
    years.He said the developing world, including China and India, are too
    reliant on coal for energy production, and the world has not developed
    a prototype to test new carbon-capturing technology.