1.1. Rich nations must lead on climate change: UN official
24 May 2008, AFP
PARIS (AFP) — Wealthy nations are shirking their duty to take a strong lead in fighting global warming, the UN’s top climate official said Friday, a day ahead of a G8 meeting of environment ministers in Kobe, Japan.
"We really need a push now from G8 countries to show leadership," said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Industrialised nations must show how they intend to engage major developing economies such as China, India and Brazil "to ensure that we really have a long-term climate agreement" by the December 2009 deadline set in hard-fought UN negotiations in Bali last December, he told AFP in an interview.
"I am not seeing this push yet," he said.
Reaching a consensus on medium- and long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gases ahead of the G8 summit in July, also taking place in Japan, would be "very difficult", he predicted.
De Boer, in an unusual expression of frustration, was notably concerned that Europe was softening is landmark commitments to cut greenhouse gases, thus sending the wrong signal to developing nations.
"The whole world gave a standing ovation when Europe announced last year its willingness to reduce its emissions by 20 percent, and perhaps by 30 percent of others join in," he said.
"But now this position is under a lot of pressure, especially from European Union industries," he said.
Multinationals from the cement, power, steel and petrochemical sectors have threatened to move operations outside Europe unless a plan to sell carbon emission permits — a cornerstone of EU plans to curb climate change — are scrapped.
The United States and Japan, de Boer said, have focused too much on fixing a long-range objective for 2050 and industry-by-industry goals for slashing harmful gases.
"If you are a businessman planning an investment, you probably want to know more about where governments intend to go in 2020 rather than the middle of the century," he said.
"We need a clear indication on how much they intend to reduce their emissions in the medium term, and not just by 2050," he added.
The administration of George W. Bush and some other advanced-economy nations has balked at making mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases until developing nations such as China — the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide — take on firm commitments as well.
These rapidly industrialising nations counter that advanced economies are largely responsible for CO2 emissions over the last two centuries, and that per capita emissions remain far lower in the developing world.
De Boer also chided Japan for sending mixed signals on how it intends to tackling global warming.
"I hear the prime minister (Yasuo Fukuda) is still very much committed to national reduction targets for Japan, but at the same time I hear other Japanese representatives talking about the fact that a sectorial approach would be better," he said.
Industry-wide voluntary agreements to cut carbon emissions are laudable but cannot replace binding national commitments if the world is to escape the most severe consequences of global warming, de Boer has said.
The environment meeting this weekend in Japan is critical, he added, because it is the last before world leaders from G8 nations — Japan, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and the United States — meet in July, when they are expected to make a key declaration on global warming.
What they say will give a clear indication to developing nations "where they want their emissions to be in 2050," the UN negotiator said.
De Boer also expressed skepticism of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s idea of establishing a carbon tax on all goods coming into the European Union from countries that have not committed to reducing CO2 emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
"Saying at the beginning of a relationship what you intend to do if the relationship goes wrong is not the best thing to build confidence," he said, noting that the effort to include developing nations in a long-term solution to climate change has only recently gathered momentum.
1.2. U.N. climate chief says efforts slowing to stem global warming
25 May 2008, THonline.com
KOBE, Japan (AP) — The world is losing momentum in the battle against global warming, the U.N. climate chief warned on Saturday, urging environmental ministers from wealthy nations to revive the effort by setting clear targets for reducing greenhouse gases.
The ministers gathered in the western Japanese city of Kobe for a three-day meeting as evidence mounted that rising world temperatures have been taking a toll on the Earth at a faster rate than previously forecast.
The officials from the Group of Eight countries, joined by representatives from other countries including China and other organizations, were to lay the foundations for the upcoming G8 summit in northern Japan in July.
U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer told the Associated Press on the sidelines that he was concerned about stalling momentum behind international talks to forge a global warming pact by December 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. Its first phase ends in 2012.
"Much of the enthusiasm and ambition that we saw in Bali with the launch of negotiations doesn’t seem to be present," he said, referring to a meeting on the Indonesian resort island in December, when some 190 countries decided on a timetable for talks on the new climate pact.
De Boer cited a recently announced U.S. climate plan that would allow an increase in emissions, Canada’s indication that it will not meet its obligations under the Kyoto agreement, and European industry’s skepticism about the EU goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
To rejuvenate the talks, G8 countries — the United States, Japan, Russia, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada — need to decide on midterm targets for reducing carbon emissions by 2020, make a clearer commitment to helping poorer nations deal with climate change, and form a dialogue with top developing countries such as China to run parallel with the U.N.-led talks, he said.
"Certainly my expectation is that … the G8 leaders will now really take things to the next level, and I think need to take it to the next level, with December 2009 being just around the corner," de Boer said.
On Saturday the ministers heard from environmentalists and business leaders before moving behind closed doors.
Environmentalists urged quick action to stem the effects of the rise in world temperatures, which scientists say threaten to drive species to extinction, worsen floods and droughts, and thwart economic development.
The rapid melting of ice in the Arctic, increasing crop damage and other effects show the multiplying effects or higher temperatures, said Bill Hare, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Summer sea ice in the Arctic, for instance, shrank to a record low last year to nearly 40 percent less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000.
Hare warned that rising oil prices could speed that even further. Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled at $132.19 a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The increase encourages the use of cheaper coal — a much dirtier fuel.
"The recent developments in the energy sector, particularly high oil prices and coal intensive development … are pointing toward the risk of higher emissions," Hare told the ministers.
The initial meetings on Saturday illustrated the continuing divisions among nations over how to attack climate change.
The U.N. process has moved slowly, with nations clashing over how ambitious the world should be in stemming the rising in world temperatures, how reduction targets should be set, and how much rapidly developing nations such as China should be called on to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.
Hilary Benn, British environmental chief, argued that the world had no choice but to act against climate change now that scientists have shown that the earth can only absorb a limited amount of greenhouse gases before temperatures rise too high.
"The fundamental problem we have is a political one," he said. "How do we divide up between all the nations of the earth in a fair manner the ability to emit that limited quantity of emissions so that we avoid dangerous climate change?"
1.3. EU lawmakers call for faster climate change curbs
21 May 2008, Reuters
BRUSSELS – Global temperature rises should be kept well below the European Union’s target of 2 degrees Celsius to avoid costly damage to people and their lifestyles, the European parliament said on Wednesday.
Its members voted 566-61 in favour of a report which also said EU consumers must be given better information about the "carbon footprint" of goods they buy, including products imported into the 27-nation bloc.
The report is not part of a law but provides a stance for the parliament which has powers of co-decision on EU environment matters.
EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas criticised the United States for not helping control climate change and praised China for its efforts so far.
"We’re calling on the United States of America to stop being an obstacle to progress in this area, and to actually be part of the process," he told parliamentarians.
"Discussions under way with the United States have started to move in the right direction… however we are still expecting them to improve their stance."
Washington argues that improved technology will do more to slow climate change than limits on industry.
The EU says any warming of the climate by more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels would bring more damaging heatwaves, storms, flooding and water shortages.
The bloc has adopted ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels, and Dimas said it was making good progress with CO2 down 8 percent since 1990.
But the parliament’s report seeks to go further.
"All efforts to curb emissions should in fact aim at staying well below the 2 degrees target, as such a level of warming would already heavily impact on our society and individual lifestyles," said the report, drawn up by German conservative member of parliament Karl-Heinz Florenz.
However, a U.N. panel of scientists says that target will be hard to achieve and that its best guess for temperature rises this century is between 1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius.
British conservative Roger Helmer argued that severe weather events had not become any more frequent. "Climate hysteria is increasingly remote from reality," he said. "We need to rethink our policies before they do any more damage."
Irish conservative Avril Doyle, who is guiding emissions trading legislation through the parliament, hit back:
"For legislators to ignore the peer-reviewed opinion of the overwhelming majority of scientists in the field of climate change throughout the world would be a combustible mixture of arrogance, irresponsibility and complete dereliction of duty."
The report called for the rapid development of eco-labelling to allow shoppers to trim their carbon footprints, and it touched on the divisive issue of so-called food miles.
Environmentalists recommend that people eat as much locally produced food as possible, ending carbon-intensive air-freighting of fruit and vegetables around the world.
But many developing countries, especially in Africa, say farmers are dependent on the lucrative trade which they contend is balanced out by less carbon-intensive farming methods.
2.1. European banks financing damaging agrofuels in Latin America
19 May 2008, FOE
Friends of the Earth International urges banks to stop fuelling harmful agrofuel boom
Brussels (Belgium) / Montevideo (Uruguay) – Many major European banks are funding the rapid expansion of agrofuel production in Latin America, leading to large scale deforestation, increasing human rights abuses and threatening food sovereignty, according to a new report released today. 
The report – released by Friends of the Earth Europe amid global worries about the increasing impacts of rising food prices – calls for an end to investments by European banks in harmful agrofuel projects. 
Agrofuels have been blamed as a major factor driving up food prices. According to the UN and the World Bank, 100 million more people are currently facing severe hunger due to higher prices for basic foods. 
‘European financing of agrofuel production in Latin America’ documents how major European banks, such as Barclays, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Axa, HSBC, UBS and Credit Suisse are investing billions of Euros in the production and trade of sugar cane, soybeans and palm oil in Latin American countries.
Fuels from sugar cane, soybeans and palm oil are increasingly used in Europe. Their large scale production in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia is extremely controversial as it leads to the destruction of the Amazon and other valuable ecosystems, as well as to the contamination of drinking water. Large scale plantations also lead to human rights violations against peasants, with working conditions on some plantations in Brazil classed as modern slave labour.
At the same time agrofuel companies are making record profits, enabled by loans, investments and other financial support from private banks. All major European banks have invested billions of Euros over recent years in agrofuel producing companies such as Cargill, Bunge, ADM, Cosan and Brasil Ecodiesel. Several of these companies have been involved in, and convicted of, illegal activities in Latin America. 
Some examples of European banks involvement:
– in 2007 Deutsche Bank owned 35 per cent of the shares of Brasil Ecodiesel
– Bunge currently has credit facilities worth more than a billion Euro from banks such as Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paris, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, KBC and Credit Suisse
– in 2007 Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse provided financial services totalling more than a billion Euros to Cosan Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth International corporate campaign coordinator, said: "Agrofuels are a booming business and banks are out to make maximum money while millions of people are suffering from lack of food and the environment is being destroyed. Banks should immediately stop their investments in such harmful agrofuel development."
Friends of the Earth is also calling on the European Commission to revise its plans for a mandatory 10 per cent target for the use of agrofuels in transport by 2020, which it says will exacerbate the problems associated with the production of agrofuels. Agrofuels are billed as a solution to climate change but growing scientific evidence shows that they may actually increase rather than decrease greenhouse gas emissions, especially if wider knock-on effects, such as changes in land use, are taken into account.
"Using crops to feed cars instead of people is a false solution to climate change," added Mr de Clerck.
2.2. Friends of the Earth Europe concerned about industry bias of the European Nuclear Energy Forum
22 May 2008, FOEE
Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace, the only environmental organisations represented in the European Nuclear Energy Forum, have sent a letter  to European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs to express their concern about the industry biased Forum. The two organisations have asked the Commissioner to call for the withdrawal of the working group reports on ‘Risks’ and ‘Opportunities’, which they deem unsatisfactory, and to counteract the Forum’s industry bias by insisting on balanced civil society participation.
Patricia Lorenz, nuclear campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The two environmental organisations convey the concerns about nuclear energy that are shared by the majority of European citizens  . I made our opinion clear at the meetings. However, the final report does not reflect the actual discussion we had in our working group. Therefore we asked Commissioner Piebalgs to significantly alter the process and content of the Forum to respect its mandate or otherwise to dismantle it."
Mrs Lorenz represents Friends of the Earth Europe as a member of the working group on "the Risks of Nuclear Energy", where the harmonisation of safety standards in the EU is discussed. Although the application of "best available technology" is the only responsible way forward, the working group report is calling for the implementation of "WENRA reactor safety levels 2008" . In addition to this, the difficulty in finding real solutions for nuclear waste is being downplayed and called "a political more than a technical problem".
"The EU needs an honest and balanced discussion on nuclear safety levels, waste and non-proliferation. However, these crucial issues were not properly addressed in the working group. Instead, the nuclear industry and Commission representatives recycle their old mantra that these issues are mainly about influencing public opinion," added Mrs Lorenz.
The European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) was founded in November 2007 by the European Council and Commission with a mandate to be an ‘open and structured discussion among all key actors’ about the opportunities and risks of nuclear power. The European Commission has indicated that it has high expectations of the outcomes of the ENEF discussions, and that it will seriously consider ENEF recommendations for future European nuclear policy.
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/press/2008/May22_Friends_of_the_Earth_Europe_concerned_about_industry_bias_of_the_European_Nuclear_Energy_Forum.html
2.3. Swedish police hold two men over nuclear scare
21 May 2008, Reuters
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish police detained two men on suspicion of planning to sabotage a nuclear power station on Wednesday after one of them was discovered entering it with small amounts of a highly explosive material.
"Two men who were taken in for questioning this morning have now been detained on suspicion of preparing for sabotage," said Kalmar County Police spokesman Sven-Erik Karlsson.
Police were alerted shortly before 8 a.m. by the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant on the southeast coast of Sweden. Initially, police only said they were interrogating one man.
"They told us a welder who was going to perform a job there had been stopped in a random security check. He had been carrying small amounts of the highly explosive material TATP," Karlsson said.
TATP, or triacetone triperoxide, is extremely unstable, especially when subjected to heat, friction and shock.
The compound can be prepared in a home laboratory from easily available household chemicals. It has been used by suicide bombers in Israel and by Richard Reid, the thwarted British "shoebomber" who attempted to blow up a transatlantic airliner in 2001.
Police did not initially treat the men as criminal suspects.
"They were only being questioned in order to gather information," Karlsson said.
He said both were contract workers and one of them was previously known to police. He had no other details other than the years in which they were born, 1955 and 1962.
Police sealed off a 300-meter (330-yard) area around the substance and called in explosives technicians from Malmo, the nearest large city.
Oskarshamn, jointly owned by Germany’s E.ON and Finland’s Fortum, said in a statement on its Web site that it believed the reactor’s safety was never threatened.
An E.ON spokesman said the material had been found on or inside the first man’s bag. "What has happened is that a guy, a contractor, this morning came to the security check with a bag on which, or in which, there were traces of explosives," E.ON spokesman Johan Aspegren said.
An official at the plant said the men had been at one of the plant’s three reactors, which had been shut for maintenance.
Professor Hans Michels, an explosives expert at Imperial College London, said TATP was mainly used as an initiator or "trigger explosive" to detonate a larger main charge.
He said four men who tried unsuccessfully to set off bombs on London transport in July 2005 had used detonators with 5-10 grams (0.18 to 0.35 oz) of TATP but failed to ignite the main charge of their devices.
Michels said TATP could also be used as a main charge, in which case he estimated that more than 100 grams (3.5 oz) of it would be needed to blow a hole in a heavy structure with an inch (2.5 cm) or more of high-quality steel.
"Normal explosive experts shun (TATP) because it’s very unstable, it’s dangerous and it’s not very pure. It tends to decompose," Michels said.
An experienced British investigator, who asked not to be named, said it was possible for small traces of household products such as hair bleach to trigger positive readings when picked up by explosive-screening devices. Hair bleach commonly contains hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient in TATP.
Oskarshamn is one of three nuclear plants in Sweden that meet half the country’s power needs. Sweden’s nuclear industry has been hit by a series of mishaps in recent years, prompting the United Nations nuclear watchdog to call for safety measures.
The Swedish nuclear regulator said there has never been an incident involving sabotage of a Swedish nuclear plant, although last year a bomb threat was received at one facility and turned out to be false..
3.1. Arcelor challenge to EU ETS suffers setback
21 May 2008, Point Carbon
A challenge by steel giant ArcelorMittal against the legality of the European carbon market received a setback today as a legal opinion prepared for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that the directive did not violate the principle of equality when it excluded the aluminium and plastic industries from having to participate in the market.
Eight steel companies, all subsidiaries of ArcelorMittal, brought the suit against the French government’s 2004 law that implemented the Emissions Trading Directive at the French Conseil d’Etat, a court.
While considering the case, the French court referred a question of European law to the ECJ in Luxembourg for its interpretation, asking whether the directive was ?valid in the light of the principle of equal treatment? since it includes the steel sector, but not the aluminium and plastic industries.
The steel companies presented their oral arguments at a hearing on 11March. The French government, joined by legal representatives from the commission, the council and the European parliament, all defended the directive by arguing the Conseil d’Etat’s question does not affect the
validity of the directive, and excluding the aluminium and plastic industries does not infringe the principle of equality.
ArcelorMittal has filed a separate, similar case at the Court of First Instance, and presented its case at a 15 April oral hearing. ArcelorMittal’s case is filed directly against the directive. At that hearing it emerged that the commission has plans to included the aluminium and plastic sectors in the system at a later state. That case was suspended at the end of the hearing pending the final outcome in
ECJ legal opinions are prepared by a senior member of the court known as an Advocate General. A legal opinion does not oblige the judges hearing the case to follow its reasoning. It only serves as a legal reference to the case and offers a proposed solution that the judges are free to accept or reject. However, in roughly 80 per cent of cases, the final ruling and the opinion are similar.
Judges’ deliberations in the case will now get under way. An ECJ ruling usually takes three to six months after an opinion is issued. The ECJ’s ruling will then be considered by the French court, who will render final judgment on the case.
The plaintiffs in the case are Societe Arcelor Atlantique et Lorraine, Societe Sollac Méditerranée, Société Arcelor Packaging International, Société Ugine & Alz France, Société Industeel Loire, Société Creusot Métal, Société Imphy Alloys and Société Arcelor.
The French Prime Minister, the Minister of the Economy, Finances and Industry and the Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development are named as the defendants.
3.2. Carbon "capture ready" means not very ready in the UK
21 May 2008, WWF
Carbon "capture ready" means very little to coal-fired power stations now being conssidered in Britain, according to a report commissioned by WWF-UK.
How ready is capture ready? prepared by Edinburgh University’s Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage (SCCS) explored what the concept often touted by the power industry actually means to the industry, and found little in the way of any substantial commitments.
“Currently, claims of CCS readiness do little more than refer to the need for power plants to leave space on the site for CCS equipment to be retrofitted in the future,” says Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK.
“There’s no deadline for conversion to full scale CCS, let alone any guarantee that this would then be met. Reliance on an as yet unproven technology, however promising it may be, is a risky business – the future of the planet’s climate cannot rely upon good intentions.”
Britain’s power sector was responsible for one third of the UK’s 180 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2007, and the government is considering an application from power company E.On to build the country’s first coal-fired power station in 30 years at Kingsnorth in Kent.
If built without CCS in place, Kingsnorth will emit 8 million tonnes of CO2 each year. Using the government’s own shadow price for carbon, the economic damage caused by the emissions would cost more than £200 million ($US )per year – a total of £13-14 billion ($US ) if it runs unabated until 2050.
SCCS expressed concern that the “capture ready” label legitimised a ‘build now,capture later’ mindset in the UK, with the eventual retrofit highly uncertain if governments did not add legal requirements to the impetus from carbon trading and pricing.
With full retrofit at Kingsnorth estimated conservatively at £1.1 billion ($US ) some analysis suggests it would take a carbon price of £127 a tonne or three to four times any level predicted as an outcome of carbon trading to make CCS profitable relying on market measures alone.
SCCS recommends that the government sets a requirement that CCS should be operational on all
‘capture ready’ plants by 2020. If plants fail to demonstrate CCS by that date, or if CCS retrofits are not operational by the end of that year, SCCS recommends that “government should force closure of that coal or gas plant.
SCCS finds that policy makers have given the least attention to the most complex and critical factors in successful CCS – preparing for storage, achieving system integration and guaranteeing effective and timely implementation of CCS retrofits.
WWF-UK’s preference – and one which avoids the risk of “lock-in” for new high carbon power souces is for the prohibition of new coal-fired stations until CCS has been proven on a large scale and can therefore be installed from the outset.
California does it better
Another alternative, even more preferred, is the path being followed in California where in 2006 limits were put on the amount of CO2 that new and replacement power stations can emit.
“An emissions standard is a market-friendly approach that would not specify any particular technology – highly efficient gas stations, renewables and coal with operational CCS would
all comply,” the report notes. “It would also provide much greater certainty to investors and
decision-makers than the alternative ‘capture ready’ approach.”
An unfortunate history of perverted compliance
An example from recent history – flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) requirements to reduce acid rain – is cited to show how power utilities can and do commonly subvert pollution reduction measures. Initial requirements for FGD were reduced by a third following industry lobbying and even these reduced requirements were not fulfilled, despite the cost of retrofits essentially being paid by taxpayers. Another loophole allowed companies to save on costs by giving preference to running older, dirtier power stations. Only EU requirements eventually bought the utilities into line.
“The FGD story illustrates the reluctance of utilities to invest in technology that is not profitable
per se, and some of the difficulties in imposing investments when regulation is weak,” the report said.
3.3. UPDATE 2-G8 environment ministers: halve emissions by 2050
26 May 2008, Reuters
KOBE, Japan, May 26 (Reuters) – Environment ministers from the G8 rich nations on Monday urged their leaders to set a global target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a small but vital step in the fight against climate change.
But they stopped short of suggesting specific interim targets ahead of 2050, a key demand of developing countries in tough U.N.-led talks to forge a new treaty on global warming by the end of next year.
Germany’s secretary of state for the environment, Matthias Machnig, said the ministers had sent an important signal to their leaders on the direction in which talks needed to go.
"We made a step here today, a small one, but a very important one," he told a joint news conference.
About 190 nations have agreed to negotiate by the end of 2009 a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, which binds 37 advanced nations to cut emissions by an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
But wide gaps exist inside the G8 and between rich and poorer nations over how to share the burden for fighting the climate change that causes droughts, rising seas and more severe storms.
Ministers from the Group of Eight and major emerging countries had sought in weekend talks in western Japan to build momentum ahead of a July summit in Toyako, northern Japan.
The G8 agreed last year in Germany to consider halving global emissions by mid-century, a proposal favoured by Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada but opposed so far by the United States and Russia.
"On climate change, we strongly expressed the will to try to come to an agreement at the Toyako summit (in July) so we can have a target of at least halving emissions by 2050," Japanese Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita told a news conference.
"To halve emissions, advanced countries should exercise leadership to achieve major cuts."
Emerging and developing countries want the G8 to take the lead by setting numerical targets for emissions cuts by 2020, a stance also backed by the European Union.
WHO GOES FIRST?
"As for mid-term targets, it is necessary to set effective targets and advanced countries should lead the way," Kamoshita said, but he added it might not be appropriate to specify numbers now and added that developing countries with rapidly increasing emissions also needed to curtail their increases.
How far G8 leaders will be able to go in July, when they get together with leaders from big emerging countries, is still in some doubt given that the United States insists that major emerging economies like China and India help curb emissions.
"For these goals to have meaning, we need to include not just the G8 countries but all countries that have significant emissions," said Scott Fulton, deputy head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Bickering over who goes first raises the danger that the planet will run out of time, said British Environment Minister Hilary Benn.
"If we play who goes first, we are sunk," he told Reuters in an interview, noting that U.S. climate change policy was likely to change after a new president is elected in November.
Some environmental activists said the ministers had made progress — but not very much.
"We’re at the point where there needs to be a very ambitious message out of the G8 summit for international talks on climate change to move forward," said Mika Obayashi of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, an NGO.
"So in that sense, this meeting was just a quarter of a step forward. They didn’t specify where they would set targets in the long-term, nor did they go beyond saying that mid-term targets should be effective."
The G8 ministers also stressed the need for funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change and limit their emissions.
But they said private sector investments were needed in addition to government funds to pay for efforts that top U.N. climate negotiator said would require "hundreds of billions of dollars a year" would be needed over the longer term.
"Finance will help to unlock contributions from developing and emerging economies to solving the problem, without which we can’t do it for reasons of the science and the maths," Benn said.
4.1. United Nations Environment Programme – World Environment Day – 5 June 2008
About World Environment Day 2008: CO2 – Kick the habit!
World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
More at: http://www.unep.org/wed/2008/english/
4.2. Bonn Climate Change Talks 2008
Sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies, 2-13 June 2008, Bonn, Germany
The twenty-eighth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held from 4-13 June 2008.
The second session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 2) and the second part of the fifth session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 5 ) will be held from 2-12 June 2008.
More info at: http://unfccc.int/2860.php
4.3. CLIMATE CHANGE – ANALYSING, PROBLEM-SOLVING, MOBILISING
12-13 June 2008, How can you become a participating organisation ?
More at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/agora/agora_participation_en.htm
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