20 November 2006

Little progress at climate summit

Xan Rice in Nairobi

Saturday November 18, 2006
The Guardian

Environmental campaigners expressed anger last night after a UN climate change conference in Nairobi seemed to be about to end without major breakthroughs.
As talks continued, more than 180 countries had tentatively agreed to review the Kyoto protocol, which requires rich countries to limit greenhouse emissions, in 2008. But there was no deal on a deadline for setting new global targets that will apply after 2012, when Kyoto expires. Nor were there any signs that the US and Australia, which have rejected the treaty, would consider signing a successor agreement, or that industrialising countries such as China and India would agree to cut their carbon emissions in future.
The Kyoto review would show how much or how little progress has been made in tackling global warming. If the latter, the results could put pressure on rich nations to agree steeper cuts and on developing countries to limit emissions.
Barbara Helfferich, a European commission spokeswoman, said the timing of the review would ensure there was no gap between Kyoto and "son of Kyoto".
But environmentalists were unhappy with the outcome. "It means that the Kyoto show is still rolling on, which is good," said Andrew Pendleton of Christian Aid. "But if you look at the scale of the problem, the results we have seen are timid."

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