NEWS: Dragging the world into hell

‘Crunch time’ for climate change

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has opened high-level talks at the climate change conference in Bali with a call to action.

He said that if no action were taken, the world would face impacts such as drought, famine and rising sea levels.

Delegates are hoping to agree a “Bali roadmap” leading to further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions when the Kyoto Protocol targets expire in 2012. [complete article]

Hard choices on climate can wait for next president, aides indicate

U.S. officials at U.N. climate negotiations here said Tuesday that they would not embrace any overall binding goals for cutting global greenhouse gas emissions before President Bush leaves office, essentially putting off specific U.S. commitments until a new administration assumes power in 2009, according to several participants.

In closed-door meetings, senior U.S. climate negotiator Harlan L. Watson said the administration considers several aspects of a draft resolution circulated by U.N. officials unacceptable, according to an administration official and other negotiators. Watson specifically objected to language calling for a halt in the growth of worldwide emissions within 10 to 15 years, to be followed by measures that by 2050 would drive emissions down to less than half the 2000 levels. [complete article]

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