Having spent almost 30 hours traveling to Bali to attend this years United Nations International Climate Conference, it was nice to finally dive right into the meeting yesterday. This years conference in Bali is the largest ever, with over 14,000 people from all over the worlddescendingon the small island Bali. This years conference is the most important international climate meeting since the Kyoto meeting 10 years ago.
What is at stake at this meeting is simple, our planet’s future. &The first set of binding emission limits expires in 2012, and the focus of this conference is to produce the framework that will lead to even stronger Kyoto Protocol post 2012. We are calling on countries to halt the growth in global warming pollution by 2015 and for industrialized countries to achieve 30% reductions by 2020. A tall task, but time is running out.
The conference started on a high note. With the election of a new government in Australia, the conference with opened with a statement from the Australian delegation announcing that Australia would immediately ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This lead to a standing ovation from delegates. This is significant because it leaves the United States completely and utterly isolated among nations. The United States is not only the worlds largest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution, but it now stands as the only industrialized country that has not ratified the global treaty to tackle global warming.
After the first day of ceremony and opening remarks, the real work begins today. We will be keeping a close eye on the role the United States plays here in Bali. They have a reputation of trying to stop any discussion of targets or timelines to reduce emissions. We will be meeting with US delegation tonight, where they will lay out there plan for the two week conference.
There will be lots of highlights over the next two weeks. We are expecting a sizable Democratic Congressional delegation to present to delegates an alternative picture of American leadership. Al Gore will coming to the conference straight from receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, and there are rumors that Arnold Schwarzeneggar will make an appearance. In addition the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s flagship arrives in Bali on Thursday, and Greenpeace Solar Generation all over the world are in Bali to help pressure delegates. So stand by for more ….. now back to meetings.