Global warming: greather threat than terrorism
"The Kyoto Protocol is stronger today than it was two weeks ago.
Thishistoric first Meeting of the Parties has acknowledged the
urgency ofthe threat that climate change poses to the world's
poorest people, andeventually, to all of us. The decisions made
here have cleared the wayfor long term action," said Bill Hare,
Greenpeace International ClimatePolicy Advisor in Montreal.
The meeting agreed the following:
--To start urgent negotiations on a new round of emission
reductiontargets for the second commitment period of the Kyoto
Protocol(2013-2017). A special group has been established to ensure
that thesenegotiations are concluded "as soon as possible". This is
necessary toensure the continuity of carbon markets, and to allow
governments toput policies and measures in place to ensure that the
new, deeperemission reduction targets are met
--To start now to review and improve the Kyoto Protocol.
Mandated underthe existing treaty, this review will formally begin
at next year'smeeting.
--A Five Year Plan of Action on Adaptation, to assist least
developedcountries to cope with the impacts of climate change. This
programmewill begin to address the fact that climate change already
impacts theworld's poorest, and that it will get much worse in the
coming decades.It is the ethical, political, and legal
responsibility of theindustrialised countries to provide for
As expected, the Bush administration attempted to derail the
process,at one point even walking out of the negotiations, but the
rest of theworld showed a resolve to move ahead regardless. For
once, the Bushadministration was forced back to the table and into
agreement with theinternational community. No doubt the
overwhelming presence of U.S.civil society at these talks has had a
The US has continued to attempt to lure countries away from the
UNmultilateral climate regime with its international emission
trading toan ineffective approach based on voluntary actions and
'partnerships'.Today, however, governments have agreed to hold
substantive talksbeginning in May 2006 on the Kyoto Protocol's
second commitment period,sending an unmistakable signal that we are
on the road to new and moreambitious targets.
According to Sawyer, "What will be remembered is that this was
themoment when the future of the Kyoto Protocol and legally
bindingemissions reductions and the cap and trade system
wassecured...Australia and the US are isolated as never before, and
theoverwhelming presence of US state governments, cities, trade
unions,businesses, churches, youth and many other parts of civil
society gavethe rest of the world confidence that Americans do care
about climatechange, and that the Bush administration's
intransigence will soonerrather than later be remembered as an
unfortunate historical footnote."
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