English_Master March 20, 2016 No Comments
G-8’S VAGUE COMMITMENT ON GREENHOUSE GASES WON’T DO The agreement on climate change reached at Heiligendamm by the G-8 leaders merely sets the stage for the real debate to come: How will we divide up the diminish­ing capacity of the atmosphere to absorb our greenhouse gases? The G-8 leaders agreed to seek “substantial” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and to give “serious consideration” to the goal of halving such emissions by 2050 – an outcome hailed as a triumph by German chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Yet the agreement com­mits no one to any specific targets, least of all the US, where President George W Bush will no longer be in office in 2009, when the tough decisions have to be made. One could reasonably ask why anyone thinks such a vague agreement is any kind of advance at all. At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 189 countries, including the US, China, India, and all the European nations, signed the UN Frame­work Convention on Climate Change, thereby agreeing to stabilize greenhouse gases at a low enough level to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate sys­tem. Fifteen years later, no country has done that. US per...
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