Bonn Climate Accord Signed by 178 Nations But comprises made to reach agreement open many loopholes
Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris.
After marathon negotiating sessions that stretched until dawn July 23, representatives of 178 nations agreed on enforcement mechanisms to bind signatories of the Kyoto protocol to reduce emissions of green house gasses linked to global warming and climate change. The accord moved forward the work begun in Japan in 1997 endorsed at the time by most of the world's nations. But conspicuously missing from the Bonn agreement was the United States, which under the Bush administration has rejected Kyoto as "fatally flawed." Mr. Bush maintains that mandatory reduction of greenhouse gasses would harm the U.S. economy.
Although the absence of the U.S., which produces 25 percent of the gasses that cause global warming, greatly reduces the effectiveness of the accord, some diplomats and environmentalists hope that the agreement will increase pressure in Washington to join in the future.
The Bonn agreement calls for 38 industrialized nations to reduce their gas emissions to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, while affording nations credits for protecting forests and investment in new technology.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Alex Veitch, of the Sierra Club, who examines the strengths and weaknesses of the accord and the effect U.S. rejection will have on reaching Kyoto's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At http://www.btlonline.org) .
Contact the Sierra Club by calling (202) 547-1141 or visit their Web site at: www.sierraclub.org
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