UN climate deal draft could curb US emissions and poor nations’ growth
poor countries to ‘peak’ emissions by 2020
to massively reduce its greenhouse gas emissions but could also limit developing
countries’ attempts to grow their economies, diplomats at the resumed
cut their emissions between 25-40% by 2020. The draft follows submissions to the
UN by more than 185 countries.
1990 levels by 2050″. Rich countries specifically would have to cut at least 50-95%
from 1990 levels by 2050”.
have been nowhere near enough to avoid catastrophic
levels – far less than European Union countries who have committed themselves
to 20% cuts by 2020 and a 30% cut if other countries show similar ambition. “If
this text were to be adopted, then the US would find it particularly difficult.
It means they would have to do very much more,” said one European diplomat.
accord, the disputed deal that inflamed many poor countries in December but was
backed strongly by the US and Britain. However, many elements of it are included
in the new text.
that all countries should “peak” their emissions in 2020. This would force them
to move rapidly away from fossil fuels in just a few years, something which they
say is impossible to do given their limited finances and need to improve the lives
of their people.
where China, India and others complained that rich countries were trying to force
them to arrest their economic development, effectively handing economic advantage
to the US and industrialised countries.
reference, even suggesting that a typographical mistake had been made. “This is
extraordinary,” said one diplomat. “It has no chance of being accepted.”
“It’s not a final document. This is an opportunity for countries to express their
views. Elements of the accord are now fully integrated into the new text. The
language is finding its way into the negotiating process.”
pledges fall well short . More stringent action cannot be postponed.”
try to hold temperature rises to 1.5C, as more than half the world’s countries
on by all countries and will then be amended by the UN before becoming a possible
final negotiating text in August, the consensus among poor countries was that it was deeply biased against them.
of the poorest, least developed countries. It is deeply biased against them”,
said Qumrul Choudhury, lead negotiator for the group of least developed countries.
backwards. He said that the rich countries’ 80-95% proposed cut would lock in
a “grossly unfair” carbon budget, effectively blocking out the carbon space of
protocol, the only international treaty which legally commits rich countries to
developing countries’ interests than the old text and has many new negative pointsm,”
a base of negotiations,” said Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN.
is] that developed countries have so far shown no signs that they will increase
their targets or provide new money,” said Kaisa Kosonen, a Finnish diplomat.
would secure measures to prevent climate catastrophe,” said Friends of the Earth
climate campaigner Asad Rehman.
tackling climate change, and risks a weak climate agreement with voluntary pledges
– leaving little or no chance of averting dangerous global warming,” he said.
lack of political will from the richest countries has become a signature for these
talks,” said Oxfam policy adviser Antonio Hill.
summit in Cancun, Mexico in November.
Confidence in climate science remains strong, poll shows
failure at Copenhagen and cold weather
public’s attitudes to global warming, according to poll of over 1,800 people.
public acceptance of
summit and the record-breaking cold temperatures.
Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the study. “If I was in policy circles I would
not be complacent, but reassured that it has not been as serious as many thought
it would be.”
climate change. Some 78% think the climate is changing, which is down from 91%
who said it was in a similar poll in 2005. Pidgeon said there were a number of
possible explanations for the decline, including the economic crisis. “There is
a theory that there is a finite pool of worry that anyone has.”
Scotland and Wales. It took place from January to March this year, following the
conspiracy among researchers, and the
said the controversy of the UEA emails had set back efforts to tackle global warming
by 20 years, while media commentators blamed it as the issue fell down the political
quantitative surveys such as this. But he said unpublished work from a series
of parallel focus groups with people in Bristol showed that many thought the media
had exaggerated the seriousness of the email scandal. The most likely effect of
the release of the emails would have been to reinforce people’s existing attitudes
to the issue, he said.
climate change, compared to 82% in 2005. Some 40% said that the seriousness of
climate change is exaggerated, while 42% disagreed. Just 20% thought there was
serious disagreement among scientists about whether climate change is caused by
humans, despite efforts by climate sceptics to undermine the consensus that greenhouse
gas emissions drive global warming. Some 70% of people said it was their responsibility
to act on climate change, while 63% thought they could change their behaviour
to help. More than two-thirds (68%) said they would vote in favour of spending
taxpayers money on British projects to tackle climate change.
slightly more acceptable to the public, in particular as part of efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. But there was still “no ringing endorsement” for expanding
nuclear, Pidgeon said.
from experts at Yale and George Mason universities, showed that belief among the
US public that global warming is happening has risen 4% since January, to 61%.
Those who accept it is caused by human activity rose 3% to 50%. And the number
of US citizens who said that the issue is personally important to them rose 5%,
the economy is starting to recover, along with consumer confidence, and as memories
of unusual snowstorms and scientific scandals recede,” said Anthony Leiserowitz,
director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. “The BP oil disaster
is also reminding the public of the dark side of dependence on fossil fuels, which
may be increasing support for clean energy policies.”