The Bush administration has never disguised its contempt for
the Kyoto protocol, which aims to curb global warming. George Bush pulled out of
the climate change deal on arriving in office, saying it would place
unacceptable limits on American growth. The president was not prepared to
contemplate changing the way Americans produced and consumed energy. (AFP file
Greenhouse gases are to be cut by 2%
A poster makes the Indian prime minister's point
The world again meets to deal with global warming
The increase in the number of floods and droughts in the world has placed new
emphasis on global warming.
little George is an "oil man" and so he is refuses to acknowledge
the fact that global warming is a problem.
It is possible that global warming may shift the bread belt of the United
States north to Canada or south to Mexico.
People are going to starve because of the changing climate. Countries
that are barely able to feed themselves are going to experience massive
starvation if the world does not begin to address the causes of global
The potential problems created by Saddam Hussein are nothing compared to an
entire country experiencing years of drought or flooding. Saddam may be
able to kill a couple of thousand people with the weapons he allegedly has but
the weather can kill millions.
The environment must be given consideration as the world continues to develop
economically. How can the global society cause the hunger and starvation
of billions for the convenience that oil gives to millions?
October 31, 2002
Dirty dealing in Delhi
Bush bullies the world on
Thursday October 31, 2002
The Bush administration has never disguised its contempt for the Kyoto protocol,
which aims to curb global warming. George Bush pulled out of the climate change
deal on arriving in office, saying it would place unacceptable limits on
American growth. The president was not prepared to contemplate changing the way
Americans produced and consumed energy. So the United States continues to burn
coal, oil and gas - which lifts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is
slowly cooking the earth's weather system - altering it, perhaps irrevocably,
and ensuring floods and droughts appear more frequently. Although the
president's team have belatedly been forced to accept the phenomena of climate
change, they have done little about it. The US remains a country which is
powered by coal, where people instinctively drive rather than walk and where
masses let the plane take the strain. George Bush's message, which echoes his
father's, is clear: the American way of life is not up for negotiation.
But in withdrawing from the protocol, Mr Bush also agreed not to undermine
it. Now, it seems the US is doing just that. The latest round of climate-change
talks in Delhi, the last before the treaty is ratified, is now expected to
produce a declaration which neglects to mention the Kyoto protocol. Although
drafted by the Indian government, fingers are already being pointed at the Bush
administration for the glaring omission. These tactics are not new. The White
House was instrumental in ousting the chairman of the influential scientific
body which advises governments on climate change - after his success at moving
climate change up the political agenda. The US withdrawal has also unsettled the
Russians and the Canadians, concerned that in the absence of the world' s
biggest polluter, the US, Kyoto's emissions-trading regime would be worthless.
Kyoto is not an end in itself. Its targets are ultimately more symbolic than
scientific in value. As Tony Blair pointed out at the earth summit, the protocol
"only slows the present rate of damage. To reverse it, we need to reduce
dramatically the level of pollution". The prime minister's insight is that
the world needs to rely less on fossil fuels, which have fuelled industrial
development for two centuries and now account for three-quarters of the globe's
fuel intake. Until now, the world has relied on the collapse of the ex-Soviet
economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hence Europe's attempt to move to
increasing the amount of energy used from renewable sources such as the wind and
the sun. The European Union is also pouring money into new technologies like
hydrogen, and starting to introduce taxation regimes which tax polluters - such
as motorists. Such measures will encourage fast-industrialising countries like
China and India, with billions of people, not to repeat the mistakes the west
Unless something is done, experts predict that by 2010 emissions from OECD
countries will be around 29% higher than the target committed to in Kyoto. While
the protocol may have its faults, it also reflects an endeavour by nation states
to realise common goals. Climate change is a slow and fitful process, but the
world cannot wait and let it happen before acting. The resulting weather
patterns will hit the developing world first and worst. Developed countries
should therefore dig deep into their pockets as they have been the largest
emitters of greenhouse gases. While the effects are uncertain and Kyoto
inadequate, climate change needs action - from the United States above all
Wednesday, 30 October, 2002,
India rejects climate change pressure
India has rejected pressure on poor nations to step up efforts to tackle
global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
In comments at a UN meeting on climate change in Delhi, Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee argued that countries like India produced only a fraction of
the total greenhouse gas emissions, and could not afford the extra costs of
More than 170 countries are attending the meeting and are already divided
over what should be included in the final resolution.
The meeting - the eighth in the UN climate change process - is designed to
prepare the way for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol next year which is
intended to halt global warming.
Opening the ministerial talks at the conference, the Indian prime minister
said poor countries should not be set targets for cutting greenhouse gas
At the moment, the Kyoto protocol does not set emission levels for
"Climate change mitigation will bring additional strain to the already
fragile economies of the developing countries and will affect our efforts to
achieve higher GDP growth rates to eradicate poverty speedily."
He said India's per capita greenhouse gas emissions were only a fraction of
the world average, and below that of many developed countries.
Delegates are divided on the text of the Delhi Declaration, which will sum
up the discussions of the 10-day meeting.
As drafted at present, the declaration excludes any reference to the Kyoto
Protocol, which is due to be implemented next year and which sets targets to
cut the emission of greenhouse gases and restrict global warming.
The final declaration is said to concentrate more on how countries should
prepare and adapt for climate change rather than stop it happening.
Environmental groups say this is an attempt to water down the provisions of
Delegates from the European Union are arguing that the declaration should
be much stronger in its wording and should include specific reference to
The Indian Government, the hosts of the conference, want the declaration to
stress that developing countries are most vulnerable to drought and flooding
and other effects of climate change.
BBC Science correspondent Richard Black says some environmental groups have
accused the Indians of watering down the agreement to please the US.
The accusation follows charges a few months ago that the US engineered the
election of Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri as head of the
Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.
Critics say Dr Pachauri follows the US line on global warming - something
which he denies.
PM flays developed nations over climate
Trust of India
New Delhi, October 30
Hitting out at the industrial nations for demanding greater commitments
from developing countries for preventing climate change, Prime Minister
Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday said the suggestion was
"misplaced" in view of lower green house gas emissions and per
capita incomes in the third world.
"There have been suggestions that a process should commence to
enhance commitments of developing countries on mitigating climate change
beyond that included in the convention. This suggestion is misplaced for
several reasons", Vajpayee told the eighth UN Conference on Climate
Change in New Delhi.
Asking the advanced nations to pump more funds to enhance capacity
building in developing countries, Vajpayee said developing countries do
not have adequate resources even to meet their basic human needs.
"Climate change mitigation will bring additional strain to the
already fragile economies of the developing countries", he said.
Maintaining that the contribution of all developing countries to
greenhouse gas concentrations is very little compared to industrialised
nations, the Prime Minister said "tragically, however, developing
countries will bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse impacts of
He said the GHG intensity of the developing economies at purchasing
power parity is low and, in any case, not higher than that of the
industrialised countries. "Thus the assertion that developing
countries generate GHG emissions is not based on facts".
Demanding equal per capita rights to global environmental resources,
Vajpayee said "we do not believe that the ethos of democracy can
support any norm other than this".
Noting that per capita incomes in the developing world were only a
small fraction of those in industrialised nations, he said additional
strain to already fragile economies of developing countries on account of
climate change mitigation would affect their efforts to achieve higher GDP
growth to eradicate poverty speedily.
It was, therefore, necessary to pay adequate attention to the concerns
of the developing countries on vulnerability and adaptation issues in the
convention process, he said.
Describing agriculture, food and nutritional wellbeing and
weather-related economic loss as among the key areas of adaptation, he
said "there is a need for strengthening the capacity of developing
countries in coping with extreme weather events, which are increasing in
frequency and severity due to climate change".
Welcoming the operationalisation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM),
Vajpayee asserted that coal would continue to be the most important source
of energy in India in the foreseeable future even as the government was
promoting many technological innovations for energy efficiency and
reducing its environmental impact.
"Our energy policies are ensuring rapid progress towards
market-determined energy pricing, conservation of forests and wildlife and
participation of local communities in forest management", he said
adding that "as a cumulative effect of all these policies and
measures, the energy intensity of our GDP has been declining
Describing Indian economy as one of the fastest growing in the world,
the Prime Minister said "the major part of this growth is due to
service sectors, including information technology, bio-technology and
media and entertainment" in which energy consumption is low.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed India's deep commitment to sustainable
development saying the country had the most active renewable energy
programme in the world, besides promoting various energy efficiency
measures in industrial, commercial, Governmental and domestic sectors to
Listing out various renewable energy efficiency measures taken by
India, he said "we are among the leading nations in wind power
production, vigorously promoted the use of solar energy in both thermal
and electricity generation modes and steadily increasing the share of
hydropower and natural gas in our energy mix".
By Tim Hirsch
BBC environment correspondent
A new action plan to prevent further destruction of the Amazon
rainforest is being launched at a conference in London on Thursday.
Academics and environmental groups are warning that the world's
climate could be seriously threatened if current plans to develop the
forest are allowed to continue.
Logging and cattle ranching in recent decades have already removed
an area the size of France from the Amazon forest, which was once as
big as the whole of Western Europe.
A report setting the scene for the conference warns that current plans
by the Brazilian government could destroy nearly half of the remaining
forest in two decades, through a combination of dams flooding huge
areas and the clearing of land to grow soya beans.
Recent research suggests that the Amazon is even more important to
the world's climate than previously thought.
Not only does it soak up vast quantities of carbon dioxide which
adds to the greenhouse effect if it's released through burning, but
destruction of the forest is now thought to affect rainfall patterns
across wide areas of the world.
The campaigner Bianca Jagger will present the new action plan to
provide financial incentives to South American governments to curb
further development of the forest.
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