World divided on new plan to combat global warming


A new plan to curb global warming risks becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate pact.

Global Warming Map

This figure shows the difference in instrumentally determined surface temperatures between the period January 1999 through December 2008 and "normal" temperatures at the same locations, defined to be the average over the interval January 1940 to December 1980. The average increase on this graph is 0.48 °C, and the widespread temperature increases are considered to be an aspect of global warming. - Image via Wikipedia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A new plan to curb global warming risks becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate pact.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol covers only emissions from rich nations that produce less than a third of mankind’s carbon pollution and its first phase is due to expire end-2012. Poorer nations want it extended, while many rich countries say a broader pact is needed to include all big polluters.

Australia and Norway have proposed negotiations on a new agreement, but say it is unrealistic to expect that to be ready by 2013. They have set a target date two years later, in 2015.

“This is the only way ahead. There is no other way than failure,” said a senior climate negotiator from a developed country on the Australia-Norway proposal, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Developing nations insist Kyoto be extended to commit rich countries to tougher carbon cuts and fiercely resist any attempts to side-line the world’s main climate pact, meaning the Australia-Norway plan faces a tough time .

More (Click here), David Fogarty, Scientific American

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