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Re: [carfree_cities] How America Plotted to Stop Kyoto Deal

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  • kiwehtin
    ... I think many participants in the conference are well aware of the obstructionism of the current US administration and see it as perhaps a potentially
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 9, 2005
      On Dec 9, 2005, at 7:12 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

      > Published on Thursday, December 8, 2005 by the Independent / UK
      > How America Plotted to Stop Kyoto Deal
      > by Andrew Buncombe
      > A detailed and disturbing strategy document has revealed an
      > extraordinary American plan to destroy Europe's support for the
      > Kyoto treaty on climate change. (...)

      I think many participants in the conference are well aware of the
      obstructionism of the current US administration and see it as perhaps
      a potentially dangerous sand bank in the river, but one that can be
      steered around for the moment in the hope that a more sensible set of
      multilateralist interlocutors will replace them three years from now.
      It is certainly clear that other groups and many state governments in
      the US are way ahead of the White House clique on climate change issues.

      Here is an article in today's Montreal Gazette:


      U.S. said to be deeply angered by Martin's comments at climate


      View Larger Image
      Canada's Industry Minister Pierre Pettigrew, right, speaks with an
      aide before addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
      (CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz)

      Dennis Bueckert, Canadian Press
      Published: Thursday, December 08, 2005
      MONTREAL (CP) - With one day of talks to go at the UN climate
      conference, desperate efforts to draw the United States into the
      global effort to curb greenhouse emissions appear to have hit a brick
      wall, and Prime Minister Paul Martin is being blamed.

      An official with close contacts in the U.S. delegation said any hopes
      of drawing Washington into the process were killed when Martin
      pointed a finger of blame at the United States in a news briefing at
      the conference.

      "That was a big mistake," said the delegate, speaking on condition of
      anonymity Thursday. He said the U.S. delegation, which is directed
      from Washington by Vice-President Dick Cheney, was deeply angered by
      Martin's comments.

      In his comments Wednesday, Martin called on all nations to join the
      global effort to fight climate change, adding: "To the reticent
      nations, including the United States, I say there is stuch a thing as
      a global conscience, and now is the time to listen to it."

      It is not clear that the United States would have agreed to
      participate in new climate talks in any case, said the official, but
      chances now have been reduced to zero.

      In this context it is expected the U.S. will veto a new Canadian-
      inspired proposal calling for further talks within the UN Framework
      Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

      The United States is party to the UNFCC although it has not ratified
      the Kyoto Protocol.

      Experts say there can be no realistic hope of controlling climate
      change unless there are deeper cuts after 2012, beyond the 5.2 per
      cent reduction required in the existing Kyoto Prototcol.

      They also say the international effort will be doomed without the
      participation of the United States, which accounts for about a
      quarter of global greenhouse emissions.

      Environmentalists have been arguing that Kyoto countries should
      forget about trying to engage the current U.S. administration while
      waiting for a more sympathetic regime. They cheered Martin's remarks,
      which were a big topic of conversation Thursday.

      "I think it will come to be seen as a historic speech," said Bill
      Hare of Greenpeace International. "I really think it was a very, very
      powerful statement from a main political leader."

      The White House is likely to be further angered by news that former
      U.S. president Bill Clinton will address the conference on Friday at
      the invitation of the City of Montreal.

      Clinton was a major supporter of the Kyoto Protocol while president,
      although his successor George W. Bush pulled out of the accord soon
      after taking power.

      The visit was arranged on the initiative of Elizabeth May, executive
      director of the Sierra Club of Canada, who has known Clinton since
      working on one of his campaigns in the 1970s.

      Although Clinton's speech is officially designated as a "side event"
      to the conference, it is expected to take place in the main
      conference hall, allowing thousands of delegates from around the
      world to attend.

      Despite the U.S. reaction, Canadian delegates were upbeat Thursday,
      noting that a committee had reached consensus on a proposal for
      further talks within the Kyoto Protocol. Those talks would exclude
      the United States.

      The United States is entitled to participate in the conference
      because it has ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
      (UNFCC). It is not entitled to participate in negotiations under the
      Kyoto Protocol, which it has not ratified.

      © The Canadian Press 2005

      The article can be read online here:


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada

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