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Bali Talks Reach A Meaningless Agreement

From an overjoyed Associated Press:

Delegates applaud their moral heroism at the UN Climate Change Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali island December 15, 2007.

Bali climate talks reach agreement

By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 15

BALI, Indonesia – World leaders overcame bitter divisions Saturday and agreed to reach a new deal on fighting global warming by 2009, turning a corner in mankind’s race to stave off environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures.

The contentious, two-week U.N. climate conference on the resort island of Bali ended with the United States, facing angry criticism from other delegations, relenting in its opposition to a request from developing nations for more technological help fighting climate change.

The new deal does not commit countries to specific actions against global warming. It simply sets an agenda and schedule for negotiators to find ways to reduce pollution and help poor countries adapt to environmental changes by speeding up the transfer of technology and financial assistance.

Despite an aggressive EU-led campaign to include specific emissions reduction targets for industrial nations — by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 — the final road map has none.

The guidelines were eliminated after the U.S., joined by Japan and others, argued that targets should come at the end of the two-year negotiations, not the beginning

Now the U.N. will embark on at least two years of talks to fashion a more effective and widely accepted successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The process could determine for years to come how well the world will cut emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming…

The marathon negotiations to reach the Bali accord appeared on the brink of collapse several times.

Just when it appeared agreement was within reach Saturday morning, developing nations argued that their need for technological help from rich nations and other issues needed greater recognition in the document. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the group, urging them to overcome their differences.

In an apparent resolution, India and others suggested minor adjustments to the text, backed by the EU, that encouraged monitoring of technological transfer to make sure rich countries were meeting that need.

But the United States objected, calling for further talks and drawing loud boos and sharp floor rebukes. “If you are not willing to lead, then get out of the way!” shouted one delegate. Others pleaded with the head of the U.S. delegation, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky, to reverse herself

Dobriansky’s subsequent acceptance of the changes triggered applause — one of the few times that a U.S. action had won public praise at a conference studded with accusations that Washington was blocking progress

Thank Gaia. Now we can all breathe easier.

As long as we don’t exhale.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, December 15th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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