Sunday, November 18, 2007

Global warming and the kyoto protocol

Harold Sun

A UN climate conference has agreed on a blueprint for fighting global warming and warned governments have only a few years to avert some of the worst effects.
Delegates at the 130-nation talks stood and applauded at the end of the meeting in Valencia, Spain, yesterday.
Delegates agreed on a 20-page summary on Friday about the mounting risk of climate change.
"This is the strongest report yet by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), but says that there is still time to act," said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare.
The document will put pressure on environment ministers, who meet next month in Bali, to agree a two-year plan on how to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the main UN plan for fighting warming until 2012.
"The report sends a very strong signal to Bali," said Hans Verolme, director of the World Wildlife Fund conservation group's climate change program. "Now it's up to the politicians."
Kyoto sets binding goals only for cutting greenhouse gases in 36 nations. Australia, the US and developing nations led by China have not agreed to Kyoto.
The IPCC report says human activity is "very likely" to cause rising temperatures, and that deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avert more heatwaves, melting glaciers, extinctions and rising sea levels.
Climate change, population growth and biofuel demand mean food prices will keep rising, making the world's poorest even more vulnerable, warns UN World Food Program boss Josette Sheeran.
"Many people are simply being priced out of the food market," Ms Sheeran said.

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