Kill Kyoto or Kyoto II Our Only Hope?

franke-polar-sml.jpg“We don’t have time to start over… global carbon emissions have to peak in 2015 …”Jonathan Pershing, World Resources Institute

By Stephen Leahy

Nov 21 (IPS) – Total greenhouse gas emissions of 40 industrialised countries rose to a near all-time high in 2005, but the Kyoto Protocol will still exceed its reduction targets, a United Nations agency said two weeks before political leaders meet in Bali, Indonesia to begin negotiations on a new and more aggressive treaty to battle climate change.

“Greenhouse-gas emissions between 1990 and 2000 went down, but then between 2000 and 2005 they increased again, by 2.6 percent,” said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol are expected to achieve reductions of 11 percent compared to 1990 by 2012 if their policies deliver the promised reductions, the UNFCCC report said — a significant achievement and surpassing the Kyoto Protocol target of five percent.

“For the totality of Kyoto signatory countries, reductions of 15 percent are feasible should additional policies be planned and implemented,” de Boer said. Continue reading

30 Million Lead-laden TVs Dumped on Poor Countries

“The US has an appalling system that makes it easy to dump e-waste on the developing world.”Barbara Kyle, Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

By Stephen LeahyCopyright EMPA, Switzerland

Nov 21 (IPS) – U.S. citizens will buy 30 million new digital televisions this year alone, sending their old lead-laden TVs to the dump, or more likely, overseas to China or India.

“It’s an astonishing number that will send millions of pounds of lead to landfills or overseas,” said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

Non-digital TVs contain up to eight pounds of lead, which is a potent neurotoxin. While new digital flat screen TVs don’t have lead, they do contain mercury, another neurotoxin.

“It’s no longer illegal in the U.S. to export e-waste (electronic waste) to developing countries,” Kyle said.

Changes in rules and regulations in recent years to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have created an “appalling system that makes it easy to dump e-waste on the developing world”, she said. Continue reading