NO MORE SNOW ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO
NO MORE SNOW ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO
2005-03-15 at 9:40:00 am #10868
Ministers Meet in U.K.,Mount Kilimanjaro Shows No Snowcap
for First Time in 11,000 Years
LONDON (March 05) – A photo of Mount Kilimanjaro stripped
of its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years will be used as Dramatic
testimony for action against global warming as ministers from the world’s
biggest polluters meet Tuesday.
Gathering in London for a two-day brainstorming session on
the environment agenda of Britain’s presidency of the Group of Eight rich
nations, the environment and energy ministers from 20 countries will be handed a
book containing the stark image of Africa’s tallest mountain, among others.
”This is a wake-up call and an unequivocal message that a
low-carbon global economy is necessary, achievable and affordable,” said Steve
Howard of the Climate Group charity which organized the book and an associated
”We are breaking climate change out of the environment
box. This crisis affects all of us. This is a global challenge and we need real
leadership to address these major problems — and these ministers can give that
leadership,” he told Reuters.
The pictures include one of Kilimanjaro almost bare of its
icecap because of global warming, and coastal defenses in the Marshall Islands
threatened with swamping from rising sea levels.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has vowed to make climate
change and Africa the twin targets of Britain’s presidencies of both the G8 and
European Union this year — bringing both to the fore at a summit meeting in
Gleneagles in Scotland in July.
The Kyoto Protocol on cutting emissions of greenhouse gases
came into force in February but is still shunned by the world’s biggest emitter,
the United States, and puts scant limits on China, rising fast up the ranks.
INFORMAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Senior officials from both countries will be at the London
meeting, whose main thrust is how to achieve the environmental Holy Grail of a
sustainably growing low carbon economy.
”There is an attempt to draw the United States in after
its refusal to sign Kyoto,” said a spokeswoman for environmental pressure group
”It is very sensitive given that the developing countries
are trying to climb the development curve and the developed countries must not
be seen to be doing anything to hold them back,” she told Reuters.
A senior official at Britain’s Department of the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is co-organizing the meeting — the
first of environment and energy ministers from developed and developing nations
– said the aim was to find common ground.
”This is a chance for people to get together and by not
forcing them to negotiate a very concrete outcome … allow them to explore
common interests,” she said.
”There are plenty of technologies out there which we can
deploy which can help with that shift (to a low-carbon economy) straight away.
We know that energy efficiency can already deliver huge carbon savings at a net
benefit to our society,” she told Reuters.
British think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research
has Proposed a multi-tiered approach, calling for progressively deeper cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions by rich nations but more flexible commitments from the
These should be made against the backdrop of long-term
efforts to take Kyoto — with the United States and Australia aboard in some
form — beyond the end of its first phase in 2012, it said.