Greedy Canada Tries to Poison UN Climate Talks

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By Stephen Leahy

Dec 10 (IPS) – The family has just finished up an expensive seven-course restaurant meal, and the late-arriving cousins can only snack on bread sticks. When the bill arrives, the truculent, rich uncles — Canada, Japan and the United States — insist that the cousins, although poor and still very hungry, ought to pay a full share.

And then Uncle Canada suggests that he pay less because he has a big appetite and can’t help himself.

With the fate of the planet in the balance, many critics say that is the current state of the negotiations ongoing in Bali at the international climate change talks. And that is despite an urgent appeal by more than 200 of the world’s leading climate scientists late last week.

“Drastic reductions are needed…we have no time to lose,” said Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California at a press conference in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali. Political leaders from virtually every nation will finalise the next steps to a new climate change treaty under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the end of this week. Continue reading

Canada Tries to Wreck Crucial Climate Talks

picture-9.jpgCanada publicly declared a 2 degree C rise in the planet’s temperature “unacceptable” but it is putting all of its resources at the Bali climate change conference into wrecking the process said Hans Verolme, director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“What they are doing here will will get us 4 degrees C” of global warming, said Verlome at a press conference today from Nusa Dua on the island of Bali, the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference running until Dec. 14

Anything above two degrees scientists term “dangerous”. Indeed, even at 2 degrees the IPCC says we have just a 50-50 chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.

Canada and Japan seem to be playing the US card of doing nothing he said.

And yet on Monday Dec 3, Environment Minister John Baird made a speech in Canada’s House of Commons: “a rise of 2° in the Earth’s temperature as a result of human activity contributing to global warming, simply put, is unacceptable.”

“I don’t understand Canadian politics,” said Verolme.

Related stories:

Canada’s Shocking Environmental Decline

Destroying Canada’s Boreal Forest for America’s Oil

Kill Kyoto or Kyoto II Our Only Hope?

Climate Change Experts Warn World

Amazon Forest Could Cook the Planet

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By Stephen Leahy

Dec 7 (IPS) – A two-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures could flip the Amazon forest from being the Earth’s vital air conditioner to a flamethrower that cooks the planet, warns a new report released at the climate talks in Bali, Indonesia Friday.

And we’re already past 0.6 degrees C., climate experts say.

Paradoxically, a two-degree C. rise in global temperatures cannot be prevented without a largely intact Amazon rainforest, says Dan Nepstad, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Centre in the U.S. state of Massachusetts and author of the report “The Amazon’s Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire in the Greenhouse”, issued by WWF, the global conservation organisation.

“The importance of the Amazon forest for the globe’s climate cannot be underplayed,” said Nepstad at a press conference from Nusa Dua on the island of Bali, the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference running until Dec. 14. Continue reading