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 user 2007-04-03 at 9:57:00 am Views: 43
  • #17721

    US ‘has to act’ on climate report
    environment leaders have said the US and Australia must alter their
    stance on climate change, as talks opened in Brussels on a major
    report.EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said a change of the
    US “negative attitude” to international climate treaties was
    “absolutely necessary”.The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change (IPCC) will detail projections of climate impacts.

    It is expected to forecast problems with supplies of food and water.
    final wording of the IPCC’s summary conclusions will be finalised
    during a week of discussions involving scientists and government
    representatives, and will be unveiled on Friday.

    Major concerns
    draft versions have been leaked to a number of news outlets; and they
    suggest the IPCC will outline major issues for concern, particularly in
    Asia and Africa.More than one billion people who receive fresh water
    from glaciers in mountain ranges including the Himalayas, Alps, Andes
    and Rockies will see supplies dwindle, it is expected to say.It is
    likely to project an increased risk of serious inundation for some
    low-lying cities, both on the coast or on the estuaries of major rivers.

    Agricultural output is thought likely to decrease in tropical regions, but to increase in high latitudes.
    Dimas contrasted the approach of the European Union to mitigating these
    impacts through agreed international reductions in greenhouse gas
    emissions with the stance of the US and Australia, which have both left
    the Kyoto Protocol un-ratified having initially signed it in 1997.”(The
    US) approach doesn’t help in reaching international agreement, and
    doesn’t help reduce (US) emissions,” he said.”We expect the US to come
    closer and not to continue with a negative attitude in international
    negotiations… it’s absolutely necessary that they move.”Mr Dimas also
    said he could not understand why Australia did not ratify the Kyoto
    Protocol, saying it would cost the nation less in the long term.Since
    1990, the baseline year for the most important gases dealt with by the
    Kyoto treaty, US greenhouse gas output has risen by about 20% while
    emissions for the pre-expansion EU have declined by about 2%.US Energy
    Secretary Samuel Bodman said recently that his administration
    acknowledged human emissions of greenhouse gases were contributing to a
    changing climate, adding that cutting his country’s emissions might
    damage the economy and send industry overseas.Belgian Prime Minister
    Guy Verhofstadt added that “unpopular measures are unavoidable”, and
    said it was up to politicians of all countries to take those measures.