Sunday, December 9, 2007

Canada may undermine Bali proceedings

This is from the Calgary Sun. The US is obviously already undercutting the conference by saying outright that it will not commit to binding caps at present. Canada will go along with the US policy. Canada is in effect supporting the parallel Bush instigated talks.

Sun, December 9, 2007

U.S. not ready to commit
UPDATED: 2007-12-09 02:10:19 MST

Leaked document says Canada may undermine proceedings


BALI, Indonesia -- The U.S. will come up with its own plan to cut global-warming gases by mid-2008 and won't commit to mandatory caps at the UN's climate conference here, the chief U.S. negotiator said yesterday.

"We're not ready to do that here," said Harlan Watson, the State Department's senior climate negotiator and special representative.

"We're working on that, what our domestic contribution would be, and again we expect that sometime before the end of the Major Economies process."

That process of U.S.-led talks was inaugurated last September by President George W. Bush.

The president invited 16 other major economies such as the Europeans, Japan, China and India, to Washington to discuss a future international program of cutbacks in carbon dioxide and other emissions blamed for global warming.

Environmentalists accuse the Bush administration of using those parallel talks to subvert the long-running UN negotiations and the spirit of the binding Kyoto Protocol, which requires 36 industrial countries to make relatively modest cuts in "greenhouse" gases. The U.S. is the only major industrial country to have rejected Kyoto and its obligatory targets.

The U.S. leadership instead favours a more voluntary approach, in which individual countries determine what they can contribute to a global effort, without taking on obligations under the UN climate treaty.

Watson's comments reaffirmed the Bush administration views its own talks as the main event in discussions over climate change.

The European Union, on the other hand, has committed to binding emissions reductions of 20% by 2020.

Meanwhile, Climate Action Network Canada says a leaked federal document shows Canadian negotiators in Bali are under explicit instruction to undermine a fundamental principle of the Kyoto Protocol.

The alliance of environmental groups says the move is guaranteed to derail momentum as the Bali negotiations enter their critical final week.

"The leaked instructions direct Canadian negotiators to demand that poorer nations accept the same binding, absolute emission reduction targets as developed nations," the alliance said.

It said the Kyoto Protocol is built on the recognition that industrialized countries are largely responsible for the problem of climate change, and must take the lead in tackling it.

"Although countries such as China and India need to significantly slow their emissions growth, they should not, in the near term, be subject to the absolute emission reduction targets that are appropriate for industrialized countries," the alliance said.

"Canada's per-capita emissions and wealth are about 10 times higher than India's and five times higher than China's

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