- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Are conversations sliding backwards?Talks on global climate control continued in Bonn, Germany, following the Copenhagen conference last December, are not going well according to many delegates in attendance. One more conference is scheduled to take place in October in China before the next major summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Wealthy and poor countries claim that the other groups are reneging on agreements reached in Copenhagen, forcing all of the issues to be renegotiated from scratch. Some attendees point at the United States as part of the problem as the Congress has failed to pass climate control legislation. Jonathan Pershing, the chief U.S. delegate said that the Obama administration remains committed to lowering emission to below 2005 levels by 2020 by 17 percent.
Raman Mehta, from the Action Aid environmental group said that attending talks was like living through a flashback as the discourse is at the same level as before Copenhagen.
The length of text in the negotiated agreement has more than doubled as members sought to delete previous agreements and change wording as they jockey for positions. Copenhagen had basically ended with a statement that countries pledged to limit temperature rises to no more that 2 degrees Celsius over recorded temperatures before the industrial revolution age began some 200 years ago.
The major developing countries such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa were backing off previous commitments claiming that such limits should only apply to industrialized nations. Poorer countries who were supposed to get some $100 billion dollars now say that amount is not nearly enough. They point out the droughts in Russia, flooding and mudslides in China and Pakistan, melting glaciers, and higher ocean levels to support their claims.