Nations Clash over Climate Change

Manila Bulletin, December 26, 2011 | Go to article overview

Nations Clash over Climate Change


MANILA, Philippines - The conference and some participants, among the officials of the 200 countries that attended, had hoped to come up with a clear course of action, mutually agreed upon, to reduce the worlds dangerous emission of greenhouse gases which has raised the overall world temperature by two degrees. Two may not sound like much but in 10 years if the present trend continues, that would mean raising temperatures by 20 degrees, enough to make all of us suffer, not to mention the rising sea levels (as glaciers melt) which would swamp coastlines and island nations.

Every year, the climate change conference has failed to achieve its stated goal of keeping the average global temperature from rising over 2 degrees. The most that the members of the conference could agree on was a vague promise to work toward a new global treaty in the years ahead, and establish a climate fund for poorer nations. This would replace the 20-year-old agreement that requires only the industrialized nations to cut emissions.

The participants from the Europe Union had gone into the conference hoping to get a "road map" to a legally binding treaty. But China and India blocked the idea, saying that mandatory cuts would slow down their present rate of growth and consign untold millions of their people to poverty.

With the very vocal rejection of their ideas for a legally binding treaty, the Europeans were forced to compromise their original position, and accept the vague promise of an eventual legal treaty but with no assurance that even if it was written, that it would ever be ratified. …

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