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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
UN Bali Climate Conference Conclusions - 'Some Agreement'
Image: NASA (www.nasa.gov)

UN Trying To Implement Actions

The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali was concluded on Saturday (December 15, 2007) in an extended session. The EU and the United States made a compromise agreement so that they could push talks further over the next two years. With just under 200 nations represented, delegates worked to establish a new framework agreement to replace the current Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012. The UN delegates finally agreed on the concept of steep cuts in gaseous emissions being required, yet they were unable to agree on specific binding targets primarily because of the United States' opposition to this, and its belief that these should be voluntary.

China's continued stance at Bali to back a ‘poorer’ nations status that would allow it and other countries to continue accelerating pollution (and commissioning of coal plants) while ‘rich’ countries would implement reductions seemed bizarre. If China has become the world's largest C02 emitter already, then it needs to follow the EU in reduction targets for a meaningful impact.

The concern for humanity is whether the current political process of talks without significant progress is going to be fast enough to save our Planet. The closest the Bali meeting's summary report gets to stating the global gaseous reduction objectives is when it makes reference in a footnote to scientific reports that outline a 25 to 40 percent reduction by 2020 is advisable. The European Union would have preferred that all Nations had backed this target in the body of the Bali final report. Some argue that a 40 percent reduction is not enough and that the number is closer to an 80 percent reduction requirement for there to be reversal and lowering of C02 pollution levels.

From the stance taken by the United States and China at Bali, it appears that some of humanity is more focused on short term economics than on our survival. On a positive note, if emerging voices from the U.S. and the European Union can take a leadership position on implementing reduction targets and financing environmental technologies within the next 12 months, then we may still overcome the huge challenge we face. An overall project needs to be established using a top down organisation with a UN mandate and authority to work with all countries to deliver humanity's survival.

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