From: Chad Carpenter <[log in to unmask]>
To: Climate Change Info Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, November 19, 2001 8:03 PM
Subject: Climate News - 19 November 2001
1) KYOTO PACT SET TO PROMPT BIG CHANGES (ABC, CNN, BBC, NY Times)
2) CITIZENS TO BE ASKED TO ALTER LIFESTYLE (Japan Times, Kyodo)
3) MINISTRY URGES COMPANIES TO REPORT EMISSIONS (Japan Times)
4) NZ-HODGSON DEFENDS FOREST CONCESSIONS TO RUSSIA (NZ Herald)
5) UK PROBES TAX EXEMPTION FOR EFFICIENT PLANTS (Financial Times)
6) US-EXECUTIVES AGAINST MULTIPOLLUTANT BILL (Oil & Gas Journal)
7) GO SLOW ON KYOTO PACT, OTTAWA TOLD (Financial Post)
8) SOUTH AFRICA WILL RATIFY THE KYOTO PROTOCOL (Buanews-Pretoria)
9) RUSSIA'S SCOPE FOR SELLING GHG QUOTAS SHRINKS (BBC)
10) AUSTRALIA TO EARN KYOTO CREDIT (The Australian)
11) BUSH TEAM IS REVERSING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES (NY Times)
12) GREENSPAN: ENERGY FOLLOWS MARKETS (Associated Press)
13) CHICAGO, MEXICO CITY JOIN CARBON EXCHANGE (EyeForEnergy.com)
14) BIG FIRMS BUY POLLUTION RIGHTS AHEAD OF KYOTO (Business Week)
15) COMPANIES GAIN COMPETITIVENESS BY CURBING EMISSIONS (Kyodo)
16) US-STATE LEGISLATORS TRYING TO REDUCE GHGS BY CARS (AP)
17) PHILLIPS AND CONOCO-US OIL GIANTS TO MERGE (BBC)
18) US ENERGY DEMAND TO RISE BY ONE-THIRD BY 2020-EIA (Reuters)
19) KYOTO PREFECTURE LAUNCHES WIND FACILITY (EyeForEnergy.com)
20) GERMAN PARLIAMENT UPS SUBSIDIES FOR GREEN ENERGY (Reuters)
21) HOPING TO FUEL DEMAND WITH SUPPLY (Washington Post)
22) NIGERIA-ECN HARPS ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY (Daily Trust-Abuja)
23) UK NUKES WANT HIGHER PRICES FOR THEIR CO2-FREE POWER (Reuters)
24) NEW PINK FLOYD ALBUM WILL CREATE FOUR NEW FORESTS (Edie)
25) IBM SUPERCOMPUTER TO RESEARCH CLIMATE CHANGE (Business Week)
26) ROBOTS DIVE IN QUEST FOR WEATHER SECRETS OF SEAS (CNN)
27) STUDY CASTS DOUBT ON USES OF CARBON SINKS (ENS)
28) SEA WARMTH LINKED TO SOLAR CYCLES (MSNBC)
29) MOSQUITO ADAPTS TO WARMING (Washington Post)
30) SATELLITE DATA CONFIRMS WARMING OF EARTH'S CLIMATE (ENN)
31) FLOODS-ALGERIA DEATH TOLL HEADS FOR 1,000 (BBC News)
32) FIRES SCORCH THE PARCHED EASTERN US (ENS)
33) GLOBAL WARMING MAY HIT SKIING (BBC News)
34) RESEARCHER-SEA LEVEL RISING FASTER (Associated Press)
35) CROP HOTSPOTS SPELL HUNGER, UN SAYS (BBC News)
36) DOWN-TO-EARTH PLANS FOR CO2 (Financial Times)
ON THE WEB
37) MARRAKESH ACCORDS, DECLARATION AND TEXTS OF COP-7 DECISIONS
38) REPORTS ON THE WORLD CLIMATE SUMMIT
39) EIA-US CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS INCREASED IN 2000
40) EXPERT OUTLINES REVOLUTIONARY EU EMISSIONS TRADING SYSTEM (RFF)
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
41) KYOTO: AN EARLY TEST OF LEADERSHIP (The Age)
42) WARMING PACT A WIN FOR EUROPEAN LEADERS (Washington Post)
43) AXWORTHY-LINK ENERGY POLICY AND CLIMATE ISSUES (Toronto Star)
44) MAKE RATIFICATION NEXT STEP FOR PROTOCOL (Asahi Shimbun)
45) CONSERVATION: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME AGAIN (Business Week)
46) QUITE A WEEK FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE (The Guardian-UK)
47) CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE (The Scotsman)
48) PUNXSUTAWNEY PROTOCOL (National Review)
49) KYOTO, BY WAY OF MARRAKECH (Japan Times)
50) WARMING WILL LEAVE NO ONE UNTOUCHED (Business Day South Africa)
1) AFTER AGREEMENT ON THE DETAILS, KYOTO CLIMATE PACT SET TO
PROMPT BIG CHANGES
10 November 2001
MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) From insulation hidden behind walls at
home to highly visible power plants outdoors, the first
international treaty to fight global warming is poised to change
landscapes, and lives, around the world except in the United
States. In the final moments of a two-week conference in Morocco,
negotiators from 165 countries agreed on hard-fought rules for
implementing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls on about 40
industrialized nations to limit carbon emissions or cut them to
below 1990 levels.
As a result, mountain ridges and coastlines are likely to sprout
plantations of steel windmills. With nations under pressure to cut
pollution, new cars, household appliances, even the simple light
bulb will have to be designed to save energy. And carbon dioxide a
substance we exhale with every breath will be a controlled gas and
a marketable commodity with a price.
Scientists believe the carbon that humans let loose in the
atmosphere, mostly from factories and vehicles, has upset the
natural balance, sending temperatures up and changing the climate.
Already, glaciers are melting, sea levels rising and severe storms
becoming more frequent. The agreement on the Marrakech rules
scores of pages of complex legal text cleared the way for the
landmark treaty to be ratified, probably some time next year, and
become binding law for its signatories.
The United States, however, has rejected the accord, calling it
harmful to the U.S. economy and unfair because it excused heavily
polluting developing countries like India and China from any
obligation. In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
said Saturday that President Bush took note of the rules agreed
upon in Morocco. "He agrees with the need to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. His Cabinet review is under way, to determine a way
that can be done without forcing America into a deep recession,"
Bush has said the United States will take independent action to
combat global warming. He has set up programs to further study
climate change and encourage research on new technology. The Kyoto
Protocol sets tough targets for slashing carbon emissions. Japan,
for example, agreed to cut them by 6 percent from the 1990 level
but its emissions have grown by 17 percent since 1990, making that
task far more formidable. To ease the burden, the protocol
establishes mechanisms to let countries partly offset their
targets. They can earn credits for proper management of forests
and farmlands that absorb carbon dioxide so-called carbon sinks
and for helping developing countries avoid emissions.
The accord also allows for emissions trading, letting countries
that cannot meet their targets buy the right to pollute from those
that come in under their quota. The mechanisms adopted by the
protocol were designed by U.S. negotiators under the Clinton
administration. But Bush rejected the treaty in part because of
its mandatory nature, preferring a voluntary regime. However,
negotiators agreed that such mechanisms can only supplement real
emission cuts not replace them and countries will have to adopt
energy-saving measures to meet their targets.
That means old houses should have their electrical wiring redone,
their windows triple glazed and their walls insulated to conserve
energy. Solar panels may appear on more rooftops, and new
refrigerators made to will run on one-tenth the energy of old
ones. The rules could lead to more public transportation and
changes in city planning to scale back the use of cars. At the
same time, hybrid autos using fuel cells already are on the roads,
and car companies are researching engines that use less fuel and
emit less carbon.
Many countries will set up domestic carbon trading markets where
companies can buy and sell carbon credits. A similar U.S. market
for sulfur dioxide was credited with helping reduce acid rain in
the 1990s. "Carbon will have a price. Until now, you could put as
much carbon in the air as you wanted for free," said David Doniger
of the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council. "That's
going to affect the way power plants are built and the way cars
are being designed."
Environmentalists say mechanisms like emissions trading are
loopholes that have diluted the goal of Kyoto: to clean up
polluting industries and reduce actual emissions. But they
welcomed the Marrakech agreement. The accord assigns each country
a specific target, but the average is a 5.2 percent emission
reduction from 1990 levels by 2012. "Five percent is not going to
be achieved, but that doesn't mean it's not worth having," said
Bill Hare of Greenpeace, speaking Saturday for a coalition of
environmental groups. "This is a first step."
2) CITIZENS TO BE ASKED TO ALTER LIFESTYLE
Nov. 17, 2001
Environment Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Friday her ministry
will set up an office next week aimed at getting the public to do
its part in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. "In order to
achieve our Kyoto Protocol targets (for greenhouse gas reduction),
each citizen will have to alter his or her lifestyle," Kawaguchi
said, adding that the new office will outline specific methods for
promoting such change among the populace.
The Office for Promotion of Global Warming Prevention and Citizen
Lifestyles will consist of less than 10 people to be drawn from
the ministry and fall under the Global Environment Bureau. The
move comes as the country begins its effort to meet targets
outlined in the Kyoto climate accord approved recently at
international climate talks. Kawaguchi said she expects the new
office to generate, spread and help carry out policies to fight
global warming. It will work with citizens' groups, businesses,
local governments and other arms of the national government to
encourage climate change countermeasures, she said.
Carbon dioxide, the most significant greenhouse gas, released by
the residential sector jumped 15 percent between 1990 and 1999,
trailing only the transportation and commercial sectors in growth.
Reining in residential and transportation emissions will help
entice industry to trim its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as
be an essential component of the nation's attempt to slash
greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent of 1990 levels during the
period 2008 to 2012, ministry officials said.
"MINISTRY TO SET UP OFFICE TO BOOST ANTI-GLOBAL WARMING DRIVE",
"JAPAN TO WORK TOWARDS 2002 CONCLUSION OF KYOTO PROTOCOL", BBC:
3) MINISTRY URGES COMPANIES TO REPORT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Nov. 16, 2001
The Environment Ministry proposed Thursday establishing a
mechanism to encourage companies to publicize their greenhouse gas
emissions and a system of neutral third parties to evaluate and
check reported emissions. The ministry floated the idea to a
council of experts responsible for determining what type of regime
will oversee reductions to greenhouse gas emissions in line with
Japan's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol climate pact.
To encourage action on the part of industry, companies over a yet
to be determined scale would be required to calculate their
greenhouse gas emissions and make the information public. The data
could then be reviewed by third-party organizations certified by
the government to ensure that firms are on target for the pledged
emission cuts and to aid in climate policy decision-making, said
Although more than 150 companies publish environmental reports --
and that number is growing -- there are many that do not, ministry
officials said. In addition, the ministry recommended establishing
a system to heighten citizen awareness about how they contribute
to climate change. Based on the consumption of electricity, gas
and other fossil fuels, notices would be sent outlining the amount
of greenhouse gases an individual or organization has emitted.
The Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) is
considering forming a third-party organization to review its
voluntary emission reduction plan, which has come under fire for
its lack of transparency. Keidanren is against any additional
regulatory moves that would boost its members' costs.
Representatives responded to the ministry proposals by asking for
time for Keidanren to finish debating whether to set up a review
committee on its own.
The ministry move comes as the government grapples with
establishing a reliable system to guarantee the nation will meet
its pledge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 6
percent of 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 as outlined in the
Kyoto Protocol. Operating rules of the protocol were adopted in
Morocco last weekend and the government said it will submit
various climate change legislation to the Diet next year.
Asahi Shimbun: http://www.asahi.com/english/business/K2001111700250.html
4) HODGSON DEFENDS FOREST CONCESSIONS TO RUSSIA
New Zealand Herald
Climate Change and Forests Minister Pete Hodgson rejects claims by
the Forest Industries Council that a sweeter deal for Russia under
the Kyoto Protocol will disadvantage New Zealand. A ministerial
meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, last week turned the political deal
in Bonn in July which salvaged the Kyoto Protocol into a detailed
set of rules.
Russia successfully argued that in Bonn a mistake was made in
setting the amount of tradeable carbon credits it should be
allowed for the way it manages its forests. This relates to an
environmentally controversial section of the Kyoto Protocol
covering human activities which boost a natural (rather than
plantation) forest's ability to take up carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere. It might be applying fertiliser, or even more rigorous
fire control. "The science is quite dodgy, and for that reason
caps have been placed on countries' total allocations," Mr Hodgson
said. "Many countries, including New Zealand, don't even try to
get that stuff counted. It's too small and too hard to measure."
But Russia, which has to ratify the Kyoto Protocol if it is to
come into force at all, insisted that the 17 million tonnes it was
allocated in Bonn should rise to 33 million. James Griffiths, of
the Forest Industries Council, said it was perverse to give Russia
an extra allocation for forest sinks. Russia, New Zealand's main
competitor in Asia wood markets, relied mainly on clear felling
old growth forests, he said. "We are flat out trying to determine
the impacts on the competitiveness of our sector relative to
countries outside the Kyoto Protocol. Now we are faced with having
to manage unfair advantages to countries in the Kyoto Protocol."
To the extent that the Russian deal increases the supply of carbon
credits (or emission permits) in the international market, it
would lower the price - bad news for the sellers of New Zealand
forest sink credits, but good for emitters or the Government,
which would have to buy them. But Mr Hodgson said the extra 16
million tonnes Russia had been given was equivalent to less than a
third of 1 per cent of total world greenhouse gas emissions. It
would lower the carbon price only fractionally, he said.
Russia would not be able to claim the credits until an expert team
had reviewed the scientific basis for its claims. "In any case
Russia, if it signs up to the Kyoto Protocol, will no longer be
able to undertake unsustainable forestry practices, or if it does
it will have to pay for them," said Mr Hodgson. "If you deforest
faster than nature can regenerate, you become a source [of
greenhouse gas emissions] and you have to have carbon permits to
cover that. "That is likely to reduce the flood of Russian timber
flowing across the border to China."
"NZ TO FINALISE KYOTO LEGISLATION", One News:
5) UK PROBES TAX EXEMPTION FOR EFFICIENT POWER PLANTS
November 18 2001
The Treasury is investigating whether it can overcome European
Union rules on state aid so it can grant full exemption from its
controversial climate change levy to energy efficient heat and
power producers. The government wants to double combined heat and
power (CHP) output by 2010 to meet targets to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. CHP plants, which supply heat and power to specific
industrial and commercial sites, such as chemical works, sell
surplus electricity through the National Grid. This output is
taxed under the climate change levy. The Treasury has told
developers that full exemption from the tax would be likely to be
classed as state aid needing EU approval.
It is examining whether measures taken by other EU members to
promote green energy developments might have created a precedent
to allow further help for CHP developers. The Department of
Environment and Rural Affairs and the Department of Trade and
Industry have been pressing Treasury to exclude all CHP-generated
electricity from the tax.
Officials from all three departments are due to meet this week to
discuss whether to proceed with the initiative to allow it to be
included in the chancellor's pre-budget report on November 27.
David Green director of the Combined Heat and Power Association
said: "This is a critical decision. Full exemption will help build
new confidence in the industry and prevent further job losses." A
string of heat and power projects have recently been cancelled
because of high gas prices, problems over new electricity trading
arrangements and the climate change levy.
A study by Power UK and published by Platts Energy estimates the
industry has lost 1,400 jobs this year. Developers face heavy
financial penalties under the new electricity trading rules if
they produce too much or less power than they promised. Plans
aimed at reducing this burden were published this month by Brian
Wilson, energy minister. Tony Blair will on Monday urge ministers,
business leaders and environmentalists, to come up with
sustainable development strategies before next year's Johannesburg
6) US ELECTRIC UTILITY EXECUTIVES TESTIFY AGAINST MULTIPOLLUTANT
Oil & Gas Journal
15 November 2001
HOUSTON, Nov. 15 -- Electric utility officials Thursday testified
a Senate bill that would require additional cuts in sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide emissions is too
costly and doesn't take into consideration regional differences.
They called for a "properly" structured approach to controlling
multiple pollutants that would achieve critical environmental,
energy, and economic objectives during a US Senate Environment &
Public Works Committee hearing on S. 556, sponsored by Sen. James
Jeffords (I-Vt.), committee chairman.
Jeffords said it is time for the next installment on reducing
emissions -- a multipollutant bill -- and to start on climate.
"We've learned substantially more about the overwhelming threat of
global warming. We know this threat is growing because of manmade
carbon emissions. The power sector generates a third of US carbon
emissions and must make reductions." Jeffords said the bill will
hold the electric power sector responsible for reducing its share
of carbon emissions.
Gerard Anderson, president of DTE Energy Resources, a unit of DTE
Energy Co., Detroit, Mich., complained the electric power industry
faces multiple, uncoordinated, and overlapping emission control
requirements as it tries to develop plans to build new generation
capacity, upgrade plants, and add pollution controls. "In lieu of
the current regime, a reasonable and integrated multi-emissions
strategy would streamline the regulatory process, accomplishing
meaningful air quality benefits at a much lower cost, while
protecting electric reliability," he said.
Anderson called for a multi-emissions strategy that would provide
maximum flexibility for achieving reductions, reasonable
compliance deadlines, and regulatory certainty. Anderson said any
legislation should substantially reform the Clean Air Act's "new
source review" (NSR) program, which requires that existing power
plants undergo review for additional controls before undertaking a
major modification that would result in a significant emissions
As currently interpreted by the US Environmental Protection
Agency, Anderson said the NSR program could prevent power plant
operators from making necessary improvements and undertaking
routine maintenance. Legislation also must maintain fuel diversity
and use of domestic resources, including coal, Anderson said. He
noted coal could meet the nation's energy needs for 250-350 years,
while claiming natural gas reserves appear adequate for only about
Anderson said government forecasters have predicted coal-based
electric generation will decline by 38-42% if S. 556 is enacted.
He said this could result in short-term supply disruptions and
reliability concerns as facilities convert from coal to natural
gas or go off line to install new emission controls.
Jeffry Sterba, chairman of Public Service Co., called for
legislation that would require utilities to reduce emissions of
SO2, NOx, and mercury, and provide operational certainty needed to
meet the growing demand for electricity. "There are several
reasons, however, why PNM cannot support a uniform, one-size-fits-
all program as proposed in S. 556," he said. He said emissions
reduction targets mandated in S. 556 "appear to be a policy
response to conditions that simply do not exist in our part of the
country." The main air quality issue in the West related to power
plant emissions, he said, is visibility impairment in national
Western regional differences
The Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP), consisting of state
and federal regulators, environmental groups and industry
representatives, has developed new SO2 limits to address this
issue, he said. At the same time, Sterba noted, there is not a
single non-attainment designation for ozone or fine particles
resulting from power plant emissions.
Any multi-emissions bill should take western differences into
account, he said. Legislation should incorporate the WRAP
recommendations for SO2 reductions, and ensure the costs
associated with NOx reductions are proportional to the potential
benefits of those controls. Sterba also called for elimination or
reform of NSR and other "overlapping and burdensome" Clean Air Act
programs. Anderson and Sterba pointed to the particularly severe
impacts of S. 556's requirements for mercury and CO2. Citing a
recent government analysis, Anderson pointed out that mercury
emission control technologies are relatively new and untested on a
While both companies use low sulfur, sub-bituminous coal to
produce electricity -- which contains less mercury than other
forms of coal -- the mercury present in this type of coal is
extremely difficult to remove, the utility executives said. "In
some cases, it would be impossible for PNM's plants to comply with
the bill's requirements given the present and near-term state of
demonstrated control technology," Sterba said.
With respect to CO2, the utility officials said they supported
voluntary efforts to address global warming, modeled after the
utility industry's Climate Challenge program. Through this
voluntary partnership with the Department of Energy, electric
companies were projected to reduce, avoid, or sequester 174
million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2000. "Because there is
currently no effective control technology for greenhouse gas
emissions, compliance with stringent, mandatory targets and
timetables such as those in the Kyoto Protocol would cause massive
fuel-switching in the electric utility industry from coal to
natural gas," Anderson said.
7) GO SLOW ON KYOTO PACT, OTTAWA TOLD
12 November 2001
OTTAWA - A broad coalition of business interests warns that Canada
is moving to ratify the Kyoto climate-change deal without making
citizens aware of the severe economic consequences that will
follow. Richard Paton, president and chief executive officer of
the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association, said the federal
government is engaged in "wishful thinking" if it believes it can
meet the carbon-emission reduction targets negotiated in the
climate-change agreement. "It is unacceptable that a choice is
being made without any clear idea of how Kyoto can be achieved.
[The government] is simply talking about this issue as if it is
easy, achievable and has no impact, and I think this is just
unacceptable," said Mr. Paton. He added that while he is not the
spokesman for the coalition, his views are consistent with those
of other business interests.
The industries, which represent Canada's export sector, recently
wrote to Ralph Goodale, the Natural Resources Minister, to outline
their fears about the achievability of the Kyoto accord. "We need
to understand in detail what measures Canada will put in place if
it chooses to ratify Kyoto, how those measures would work and what
would be their consequences for the economy and Canadian
consumers," writes the coalition. Members include the Canadian
Petroleum Products Institute, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer's
Association, the Forest Products Association of Canada, the Mining
Association of Canada, the Canadian Electricity Association and
the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
The federal government has promised consultations with Canadians
before ratifying the international treaty. However, Mr. Paton and
others believe there has been a lack of analysis and research
about how eliminating greenhouse gases will affect the country.
"As an absolute minimum on an issue of this seriousness, there
should be a green paper," said Mr. Paton. "There should be a
policy document and it should outline clearly what the potential
impacts are on industry and Canadians. As well, the government has
to deal forthrightly with the fact that 87% of our exports are to
the United States and they are going to be outside the Kyoto
Canadian industries fear that additional costs and regulatory
burdens will render them uncompetitive, and shift investment to
other NAFTA partners -- the U.S. and Mexico -- that are not part
of the climate-change agreement. "Almost all of these industries
have plants in Canada and the U.S., many producing the same thing
-- automobiles, pulp and paper, chemicals. Energy is a big piece
of that production. Are we now saying that we're going to have
more energy costs in Canada than the U.S.?" asked Mr. Paton.
He said Canada will be required to take drastic steps to meet the
targets for reducing greenhouse gases. The gases, mostly carbon
dioxide, intensify the temperature of the sun -- as in a
greenhouse -- causing global temperatures to rise. "If Ottawa
takes this seriously and puts in place the mechanisms that are
required to get to these targets ... what you've got to do is
unbelievable," says Mr. Paton. "You've got to put in carbon taxes,
you probably have to put caps on provincial growth, you have to
invest hugely in public transit."
The industry groups believe that ratification of the international
treaty is almost a certainty.
David Anderson, the Environment Minister, participated in a
weekend conference in Morocco where the legal language of the
Kyoto deal was completed. He hailed the talks yesterday as a major
agreement among the 180 countries negotiating the rules of the
treaty. "This agreement will allow for the efficient and
economical functioning of the Kyoto Protocol," said Mr. Anderson.
The deal commits industrial countries to reduce greenhouse-gas
emissions to levels 5.2% below 1990 levels. The Kyoto Protocol
will go into force after it has been ratified by at least 55
countries with 55% of the global emissions. Canada, based on its
industrial growth and its inability to dramatically reduce
greenhouse gases, is likely to be 25% over the Kyoto target by
2010, the business coalition said in its letter to Ottawa. To meet
the targets will require a major downward shift in the economy,
the group said.
"Carbon emissions [from the burning of fossil fuels] are part of
every piece of the economy and society, right down to driving to
work, how you deal with garbage, how many people are in the
country. They are part of every single building and plant," said
Mr. Paton. Curtailing carbon emissions "is such a serious issue
for the economy that you would expect there would be a serious
policy bases with which to address it, but what we're got is
mostly wishful thinking," he said.
Mr. Anderson said the Morocco political meetings have produced a
250-page legal text. He avoided saying whether Canada would ratify
the treaty. "Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has stated that the Bonn
Agreement [the meeting where the final terms of the climate change
agreement were approved] opens the door for Canada to take a
ratification decision in 2002, following full consultations with
provinces and territories, other stakeholders and the Canadian
public," Mr. Anderson said.
8) SOUTH AFRICA WILL RATIFY THE KYOTO PROTOCOL.
November 13, 2001
Environmental affairs minister Valli Moosa has given instruction
for his department to ratify the controversial protocol and has
expressed confidence that world nations will follow suit. Speaking
upon his arrival yesterday from the 7th Conference of the Parties
(COP) to the Climate Change Convention in Marrakech, Morocco, Mr
Moosa said the 'historic agreement' reached at the conference
'will go a long way in addressing the needs of the developing
The Conference ended on Saturday.
He added he was relieved that the COP was brought to a conclusion
before the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in
Johannesburg next year. The Protocol will enter into force and
become legally binding after it has been ratified by at least 55
Parties to the Climate Change Convention, including industrialised
countries representing at least 55 percent of the total 1990
carbon dioxide emissions.
So far, 40 countries have ratified the protocol, including one
industrialised country Romania. Cabinet approved South Africa's
accession to the Protocol in June and it is expected that it will
be able to enter into force next year, as many governments have
called for the entry to take place in 2002. The finalised Kyoto
rulebook specifies how to measure emissions and reductions, the
extent to which carbon dioxide absorbed by carbon sinks can be
counted towards Kyoto targets, how the joint implementation and
emissions trading systems will work, and the rules for ensuring
compliance with commitments.
Minister Moosa said the agreement strengthened 'our preparations
for the WSSD to focus squarely on the critical questions of
poverty alleviation, particularly for Africa, and not be side
tracked by unfinished business.' He said the 7th COP paved the way
for the 'ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the success of the
World Summit.' The Protocol, forged by 167 nations in December
1997, marked the first international attempt to place legally
binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions from developed
'Greenhouse gases' are those gaseous constituents of the
atmosphere that absorb and re-emit infrared radiation that
increases global warming. It was a follow up to the original
climate treaty at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, aiming to cut the
combined emissions of greenhouse gases from developed countries by
roughly five percent from their 1990 levels by the 2008 to 2012
The World Summit, set to take place in September next year, will
take a critical look at the historic United Nations (UN) Rio
Summit that was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The Conference
made history by bringing global attention to the understanding
that the earth's environmental problems were intimately linked to
economic conditions and problems of social justice. According to
Mr Moosa, the 7th COP had finalised a deal that brought three
years of work to a close. The deal did, however, involve
compromises on various issues, he said.
These included Compliance, which deals with the whole area of
enforcement; Adaptation to the effects of Climate Change that
deals with technical and financial assistance; and Clean
Development Mechanisms Projects, which deals with cooperation
between developing and developed countries.
The meeting also adopted the Marrakech Ministerial Declaration as
an input for next September's World Summit. The Declaration
emphasises the contribution that action on climate change can make
to sustainable development and calls for capacity building,
technology innovation, and cooperation with the biodiversity and
'After several years of tough negotiation, the institutions and
detailed procedures of the Kyoto Protocol, are now in place. The
next step is to test their effectiveness in overseeing the five
percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade,'
said Michael Zammit Cutajar, the Convention's executive secretary.
The expected effects of global warming will have the greatest
adverse impact on the African continent. Many believe that climate
change is already being manifest in the intensifying floods and
The Marrakech COP was attended by 171 governments and a total of
some 4 500 participants. The 8th COP will be held from 23 October
to 01 November next year.
9) RUSSIA'S SCOPE FOR SELLING GREENHOUSE GAS QUOTAS SHRINKS
BBC Monitoring/Financial Times
14 November 2001
Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS
Moscow, 14 November: With the US quitting the Kyoto protocol,
Russia has fewer possible partners "in the market of quotas for
the discharge of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere". Aleksandr
Bedritskiy, chief of the Russian hydrometeorological committee
[Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of
the Environment], stated this to reporters on Wednesday [14
November]. He led the Russian delegation to the seventh session of
the conference of participating countries in the UN convention on
the change of climate that was held from 29 October to 10
"It is only the US that could be our main potential buyers as the
EU does not intend to buy quotas in the framework of the chief
mechanism of the Kyoto protocol." There are Japan, Canada and
Austria among possible buyers of Russian quotas. Bedritskiy said
that decisions on all the mechanisms of the implementation of the
Kyoto protocol had been taken at the conference. "This was an
important condition for the beginning of the protocol's
ratification in many countries, Russia included," he said.
The Russian delegation achieved the passage of decisions meeting
the country's interests on the main questions. This, specifically,
applies to Russia's demand to fix a higher parameter that is of
principled importance to it, the ability of Russian forests to
absorb hydrocarbon. This parameter has been increased from 17m
tonnes to 30m tonnes, he said.
10) AUSTRALIA TO EARN KYOTO CREDIT
November 13, 2001
AFTER years of painful and protracted negotiations, Australia has
emerged a clear winner in the final agreement over operating rules
for the Kyoto Protocol, finalised in Marrakesh at the weekend.
Australia had already secured significant concessions including a
wider definition of the types of carbon sinks, that is, vegetation
that is accepted as absorbing carbon dioxide (a global-warming
greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere. It also secured a special
dispensation to increase its greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per
cent above 1990 levels after arguing that it was a major exporter
of fossil fuels.
All other developed countries must reduce gas emissions by 5.2 per
cent by 2012. In a last-minute push, Australian negotiators
secured a further key concession that allows it to bank carbon
credits - earnt by offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by such
measures as planting trees and investing in clean technologies in
developing countries - over the first target period ending in
2012. Despite the concessions, Australia remains the only
developed country, apart from the US, still refusing to sign the
international treaty aimed at reducing global warming greenhouse
Japan and Canada, Australian allies during negotiations, have both
agreed to ratify the treaty by next September. Conservation groups
branded the final agreement a triumph of politics over good
science yesterday and warned Australia would inevitably suffer as
a result of its intransigence.
"Politically, this is an outstanding result but environmentally
it's very average," Australian Conservation Foundation climate
change spokeswoman Nicolette Boele said yesterday. "If we don't
ratify, then Australia can't play the game; we can't participate
in emissions trading and numerous forestry investment deals with
Japan aren't worth the paper they're written on." Ms Boele said
under the Kyoto rules, Australian imports to countries that have
ratified the Kyoto protocol would also attract tariffs if
Australia did not ratify the agreement.
The final rule book specifies how to measure greenhouse gas
emissions and reductions, the extent to which carbon dioxide
absorbed by carbon sinks such as forests can be counted towards
the Kyoto targets, how the emissions trading system will work and
penalties for not complying.
11) BUSH TEAM IS REVERSING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES
New York Times
November 18, 2001
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 - In the last two months, the Bush
administration has proceeded with several regulations, legal
settlements and legislative measures intended to reverse Clinton-
era environmental policies. These include moves to allow road-
building in national forests, reverse the phaseout of snowmobiles
in national parks, make it easier for mining companies to dig for
gold, copper and zinc on public lands, ease energy-saving
standards for air-conditioners, bar the reintroduction of grizzly
bears in the Northwest and, environmentalists say, make it easier
for developers to eliminate wetlands.
Environmentalists are angered that in some cases the
administration, in the name of national security, is taking steps
that they say promote the interests of timber, mining, oil, gas
and pipeline companies, at the expense of the environment.
"They've used the smoke screen of the last two months to make key
decisions out of public view," said Philip E. Clapp, president of
the National Environmental Trust. "The most difficult situation we
face is that the attention of the media is almost exclusively on
Afghanistan and anthrax."
Most notable, critics say, is the administration's renewed
advocacy of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge in Alaska. As President Bush said last month, "The less
dependent we are on foreign sources of crude oil, the more secure
we are at home." Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts,
said the administration's view that oil drilling in Alaska was a
matter of national security represented a "false patriotism."
"I certainly think that the re- emergence of the Arctic drilling
is a direct effort to capitalize on events," Mr. Kerry said. "And
it's a misplaced definition of patriotism to use Sept. 11 as a
rationale for doing something that has no impact on price or
dependency or immediate supply." Administration officials say that
while national security is a paramount concern, it is not their
only argument for reversing many policies enacted by President
Bill Clinton. They defend the changes as a way to balance what
they said was an extreme tilt in favor of the environmentalists
during the eight years of the Clinton presidency.
"Many of the things we have done are to put in place common-sense
approaches that we feel are a better balance," Gale A. Norton, the
secretary of the interior, said in an interview on Friday. "They
better involve local people in decision making; they are based on
cooperation rather than conflict. Our push for involving state
governments in the decision-making process, our push for
negotiated solutions, our push for tailoring decisions to
particular areas of land are all based on philosophy, not on a
But both sides in the environmental debates say that the political
balance changed after Sept. 11. "In the past, you had to make an
environmental argument to deflect an environmental criticism,"
said Scott Segal, a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington for several
industrial concerns. "Since Sept. 11, it is possible to articulate
an energy-security rationale that can offset environmental
criticism. In comparison to security issues, criticism premised on
environmental protection begins to sound parochial and not
Before the attacks, environmentalists seemed to have political
momentum in casting President Bush as unfriendly to the
environment and his administration as beholden to the extractive
industries. But in the last two months, environmentalists have
been stymied for fear of appearing unpatriotic or even petty in
the face of a national crisis. For example, the administration has
ordered the United States Coast Guard to fortify its patrol of
coastal waters, a duty that makes it less able to enforce
antipoaching rules, leaving species like rockfish, Atlantic salmon
and red snapper vulnerable. Environmentalists have remained
silent, though before Sept. 11 they might have complained loudly.
Administration officials insist they are still protecting the
environment. Ms. Norton said her department was starting a program
to help individual property owners protect endangered species. Mr.
Bush's Environmental Protection Agency is battling his Energy
Department's plan to weaken standards for air-conditioners. And
while this administration has been more responsive to governors of
Western States than the Clinton administration was, it has not
always pleased them.
Just this week, Dirk Kempthorne, the Republican governor of Idaho,
said at a public hearing that he was so frustrated over federal
cleanup plans on a toxic Superfund site that he was "on the verge
of inviting the E.P.A. to leave Idaho." The Bush administration
has also decided to adhere to the Clinton administration proposals
for limiting arsenic in drinking water. Some environmentalists
thought the Bush administration should have called for lower
levels, but by setting the same amount as proposed by Mr. Clinton,
it defused the issue.
But the administration has let slide other matters that
environmentalists argue are vital to protecting air and water
quality. These include a global pact on climate change and a plan
to reduce power plant emissions.
Senator James M. Jeffords, the Vermont independent who is chairman
of the Environment and Public Works Committee, is advancing his
own plan to require power plants to reduce four major pollutants.
The administration opposes it, in part on national security
grounds, saying the changes could disrupt power supplies because
they might force the closing of coal-burning plants.
12) GREENSPAN: ENERGY FOLLOWS MARKETS
November 13, 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said
Tuesday the best energy policy for the United States would rely on
the operation of free markets to determine prices and spur
development of new energy sources. Greenspan said he believed all
current forms of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal and
nuclear power, would play major roles in supplying the country's
energy needs in coming years. He also endorsed development of
renewable energy sources and continued research into such exotic
forms of energy as nuclear fusion.
In all of these activities, Greenspan stressed it is crucial that
policy-makers allow markets to operate freely with as few
government constraints as possible so the correct pricing signals
would be sent. ``We must remember that the same price signals that
are so critical for balancing energy supply and demand in the
short run also signal profit opportunities for long-term supply
expansion,'' Greenspan said. ``Moreover, they stimulate the
research and development that will unlock new approaches to energy
production and use that we can now only scarcely envision.''
Greenspan's remarks, delivered to an audience at Rice University
in Houston, marked the second major address he has given this year
on energy. In both speeches, Greenspan outlined an energy program
for the country that largely tracks the energy plan President Bush
submitted to Congress this year, emphasizing development of all
sources of energy and increased efforts to promote conservation
and renewable energy supplies such as solar power.
Greenspan had said in his June speech that he believed the U.S.
economy would escape without long-term harm from various energy
problems it was then facing. On Tuesday, Greenspan noted that the
sharp jump in natural gas prices, home heating oil and gasoline
that occurred last winter, along with electric power shortages in
California, had all been dealt with effectively through the
market. The price spikes generated increased production, which
brought the costs of the various fuels down, Greenspan said. In
California's electric power crisis early this year, when the big
jump in wholesale electricity costs were allowed to be passed on
to consumers and businesses, demand slowed down, he said.
Greenspan acknowledged that part of this drop in demand came from
the slowing economy. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have, in the
view of many private economists, pushed the country into its first
recession in a decade. Greenspan did not address the future course
of the economy in his speech, but in answer to questions he
repeated his view that the country's long-term prospects for
increasing productivity, the key to higher living standards,
``looks extraordinarily good.''
He said a better-than-expected 2.7 percent advance in productivity
in the July-September quarter this year showed that there was
still significant potential for productivity gains. He said
surveys found that many business executives believe they have only
tapped about half of the productivity-enhancing improvements in
their own businesses. During the question period, Greenspan also
disputed arguments advanced by some economists that the Fed's lack
of an impact on the economy so far despite 10 interest rate cuts
showed that monetary policy was not as effective as it once was.
``All evidence that we can produce is that monetary policy is as
effective as it has always been,'' he said. On energy, Greenspan
said breakthroughs in exploration already were lowering the cost
of finding new sources of oil and natural gas. He predicted
further advances in the years ahead. He also spoke favorably about
the potential for nuclear power, which now supplies 20 percent of
the country's electricity generation. He stressed the importance,
however, of addressing ``concerns of making plants safe from
terrorist attacks'' and finding acceptable ways to dispose of
spent nuclear fuel from the power plants.
``We cannot say with certainty how these technological
possibilities will play out in the future, but we can say with
some assurance that developments in energy markets will remain
central in determining the long-run health of our nation's
economy,'' Greenspan said.
13) CHICAGO, MEXICO CITY ATTACK GLOBAL WARMING, JOIN CARBON
In a bow to the specter of global warming, two of the Western
Hemisphere's largest cities, Chicago and Mexico City have joined
the Chicago Climate Exchange. The exchange, a voluntary market for
trading of emissions of greenhouse gases, announced that Chicago
mayor Richard M. Daley will assume the role of honorary chairman,
now in its design phase. (11/15/2001)
Funded through $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based Joyce
Foundation, the Chicago Climate Exchange draws on the model of
sulfur dioxide trading, which has been successful in cutting
pollution that causes acid rain. To address climate change,
companies would set voluntary limits on their greenhouse gas
emissions, and their either make the reductions themselves or buy
credits from others that have extra reductions to sell. The
Exchange, now in its design phase, would offer a market for such
transactions, and thus help reveal the price of cutting carbon
Following is is list of entities participating in the design phase
of the Chicago Climate Exchange:
Agriliance: Agriliance is a partnership of agricultural producer-
owners, local cooperatives and regional cooperatives.
Alliant Energy: Alliant Energy Corporation is a growing energy-
service provider with both domestic and international operations.
Alliant Energy provides electric, natural gas, water and steam
services to more than two million customers worldwide.
BP p.l.c. is the holding company of one of the world's largest
petroleum and petrochemicals groups. BP's main activities are
exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas; refining,
marketing, supply and transportation; and manufacturing and
marketing of petrochemicals.
Calpine, with an energy portfolio comprised of 50 energy centers,
with net ownership capacity of 5,900 megawatts. Located in key
power markets throughout the United States, these centers produce
enough energy to meet the electrical needs of close to six million
Carr Futures/Credit Agricole Indosuez: Carr Futures, a subsidiary
of Credit Agricole Indosuez, is a global institutional brokerage
firm headquartered in Chicago. Carr holds memberships on all major
futures and equity markets worldwide, and consistently ranks among
the largest futures brokerage firms in the world.
Cinergy Corp.: Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cinergy Corp. is one of
the leading diversified energy companies in the U.S. Its largest
operating companies, The Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company (Ohio),
Union Light, Heat & Power (Kentucky), Lawrenceburg Gas (Indiana),
and PSI Energy, Inc. (Indiana), serve more than 1.5 million
electric customers and 500,000 gas customers located in a 25,000-
square-mile service territory.
CMS Generation is the 10th-largest U.S.-based company developing
and operating independent power projects around the world. CMS
Generation owns interests in independent power plants totaling
more than 9,742 gross megawatts and more than 4,621 megawatts are
under construction. CMS Generation currently operates plants in 10
Ducks Unlimited - The mission of Ducks Unlimited is to fulfill the
annual life cycle needs of North American waterfowl by protecting,
enhancing, restoring, and managing important wetlands and
DuPont: DuPont is a science company, delivering science-based
solutions that make a difference in people's lives in food and
nutrition, health care, apparel, home and construction,
electronics, and transportation. Founded in 1802, the company
operates in 70 countries and has 93,000 employees.
DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved
in the development and management of energy-related businesses and
services nationwide. DTE Energy's principal operating subsidiaries
are Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million
customers in Southeastern Michigan, and Michigan Consolidated Gas,
serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation's largest electric
utilities with approximately five million customers and more than
$15 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the
industry's largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity,
with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and
Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately five
million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania and gas to 425,000
customers in the Philadelphia area.
FirstEnergy, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, is a registered public
utility holding company whose subsidiaries have annual revenues of
more than $12 billion, and electricity sales of approximately 124
Ford Motor Company is the world's second largest automotive
company. Its Automotive operations include: Ford, Mercury and
TH!NK brands; wholly owned subsidiaries Volvo, Jaguar, Aston
Martin and Land Rover; Mazda (33 percent ownership); and Quality
Care and Kwik-Fit. Ford Financial Services, providing automotive
financing and other services, and The Hertz Corporation, providing
car rental services, are the other major components of Ford Motor
GROWMARK, Inc.: GROWMARK, headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois,
is a federated regional cooperative that provides agriculture-
related products and services primarily in Illinois, Iowa,
Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. FS-brand farm supplies and related
services are marketed to farmers in these areas by nearly 100
GROWMARK member cooperatives.
Grupo IMSA, a holding company, was founded in 1936 and is today
one of Mexico's leading diversified industrial companies. The
Group operates in four core businesses: steel processed products;
automotive batteries and related products; aluminum and other
related products; and steel and plastic construction products.
IGF Insurance Company: IGF Insurance Company is the fifth-largest
crop insurance company. IGF serves farmers in 46 states and
maintains eight service offices nationwide. IGF prides itself in
developing niche products for farmers' risk management needs.
Interface, Inc. is a global manufacturer, marketer, installer and
servicer of products for the commercial and institutional
interiors market. The Company is the worldwide leader in the
modular carpet segment, which includes both carpet tile and two-
meter roll goods.
International Paper: With over 12 million acres of land managed in
the United States alone, International Paper is one of the world's
largest private landowners. International IP has significant
global businesses in paper and paper distribution, packaging and
forest products, including building materials.
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation: The Iowa Farm Bureau is a Federation
of 100 county Farm Bureaus in Iowa. The organization was founded
in 1918 and is currently comprised of more than 154,000 member
families throughout the state.
IT Group, Inc. is a provider of diversified, value-added services
in the areas of consulting, engineering and construction,
remediation and facilities management. Through the Company's
diverse group of highly specialized companies, clients can take
advantage of a single, fully integrated delivery system and
expertise to meet their global environmental needs.
Manitoba Hydro is a major energy utility headquartered in
Winnipeg, Manitoba serving 403,000 electric customers throughout
Manitoba and 248 000 gas customers in various communities
throughout southern Manitoba.
Mead Corporation a forest products company with $4.4 billion in
annual sales, is one of the leading North American producers of
coated paper, coated paperboard and consumer and office products,
a world leader in multiple packaging and specialty paper, and a
producer of high-quality corrugating medium.
Midwest Generation: Headquartered in Chicago, Midwest Generation,
a subsidiary of Edison Mission Energy, owns 13 electricity
generating units in Illinois and Pennsylvania. With a total
generating capacity of over 11,400 megawatts, Midwest Generation
can generate enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 13
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives: NCFC's mission is to
protect the public policy environment in which farmer-owned
cooperative businesses operate, promote their economic well-being,
and provide leadership in cooperative education.
Navitas Energy is an independent power producer that develops,
owns and operates renewable energy production facilities in the
United States. Navitas currently has over 650 MW of clean energy
under development, leveraging the environmental benefits of wind
energy with the dispatchability of combustion turbines to produce
a cleaner blend of affordable electric energy.
NiSource Inc., is a holding company with headquarters in
Merrillville, Ind., whose operating companies engage in all phases
of the natural gas and electric business from exploration and
production to transmission, storage and distribution of natural
gas, as well as electric generation, transmission and
Nuon is one of the largest multi-utility companies in the
Netherlands, serving more than 2.5 million residential and
business customers with electricity and, in many instances, with
gas, water and heat as well. The company is in the forefront in
the marketing of green energy and renewable energy generation in
ORMAT: ORMAT is the world leader in distributed reliable remote
microturbine power units (also known as Closed Cycle Vapor Turbo
Generators). ORMAT's operations use locally available heat
sources, including geothermal energy (steam and hot water),
industrial waste heat, solar energy, biomass, and low grade fuels.
Pinnacle West Capital Corp: Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Pinnacle West
is the parent company of APS and Pinnacle West Energy. APS is
Arizona's largest and longest-serving electric utility, serving
more than 857,000 customers, and Pinnacle West Energy is the
company's unregulated wholesale generating subsidiary.
PG&E National Energy Group, headquartered in Bethesda, Md.,
develops, owns and operates electric generating and gas pipeline
facilities and provides energy trading, marketing and risk-
management services in North America. The National Energy Group
operates power production facilities with a capacity of about
7,000 megawatts, with another 10,000 megawatts under development,
and more than 1,300 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline
with a capacity of 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.
SC Johnson is a family-owned and -managed business dedicated to
innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and
a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in
which it operates. Based in Racine, Wisconsin, the company is one
of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning
products and products for home storage, personal care and insect
STMicroelectronics: STMicroelectronics is the world's third
largest independent semiconductor company whose shares are traded
on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan
Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and
markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs)
and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic
applications, including telecommunications systems, computer
systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial
automation and control systems.
Suncor Energy, Inc. is a Canadian integrated energy company that
explores for, acquires, produces, and markets crude oil and
natural gas, refines crude oil, and markets petroleum and
Swiss Re: Founded in 1863 in Zurich, Switzerland, Swiss Re is the
world's second largest reinsurer, with roughly 9,000 employees and
gross premiums in 2000 of CHF 26 billion (USD$15.3 billion).
Temple-Inland Inc. is a diversified forestry, forest products and
financial services company. Its three main operating divisions
include a Paper Group, which manufactures corrugated packaging
products; a Building Products Group, which manufactures a wide
range of building products and manages the Company's forest
resources consisting of approximately 2.2 million acres of
timberland in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama; and the
Financial Services Group, which consists of savings bank, mortgage
banking, real estate, and insurance brokerage activities.
The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit
organization founded in 1951, is the world's largest private
international conservation group. TNC has protected over
12,089,000 acres of land in the United States.
Waste Management, Inc. as a leading provider of comprehensive
waste management services, Waste Management serves municipal,
commercial, industrial and residential customers throughout North
America. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Company's network of
operations includes 284 active landfill disposal sites, 16 waste-
to-energy plants, 73 landfill gas-to-energy facilities, 160
recycling plants, 293 transfer stations and more than 1,400
Wisconsin Energy Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., is
an $8.4 billion holding company with a diversified portfolio of
subsidiaries engaged in electric generation; electric, gas, steam
and water distribution; pump manufacturing and other non-utility
businesses. The corporation's utilities subsidiaries serve more
than one million electric and 950,000 natural gas customers in
Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
14) BIG FIRMS BUY POLLUTION RIGHTS AHEAD OF KYOTO
2 November 2001
MARRAKESH, Morocco, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Big firms are buying permits
to pollute from countries that are installing clean energy, hoping
to profit from an 'emissions trading' scheme that has yet to be
created, the World Bank said on Friday. While officials from some
160 countries meeting in Marrakesh grappled with the fineprint of
a 1997 treaty aimed at cutting the 'greenhouse gases' blamed for
global warming, banks, energy companies and manuafacturers were
already eyeing ways to cut costs -- or even make money -- out of
the climate pact.
Seventeen companies including oil giant BP (BP.L), Japan's
Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) and German utility RWE (RWEG.F), have
joined a scheme to test out the so-called clean development
mechanism -- one of the elements of the complex Kyoto deal that
are being finalised in the Moroccan city. In return for investing
in renewable power projects in poorer countries, the firms will
receive credits for the amount of carbon dioxide -- the main gas
capped by Kyoto -- that would otherwise have been emitted through
dirtier energy sources.
The firms hope an agreement in Marrakesh will allow them to use
the credits to offset CO2 cuts imposed on them by their own
governments. Better still, the rules might allow them to sell CO2
credits at a profit via a yet to be established emissions trading
NEW GOODS TO MARKET
'We are creating a new good that can enter the market,' the World
Bank's Ken Newcombe, manager of the 'prototype carbon fund' (PCF)
told a news conference on the sidelines of the negotiations.
'Emissions that our shareholders (the 17 companies plus the
governments of Japan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the
Netherlands) intend to purchase are destined either to help meet
their targets ..or, as there are banks involved, they could inject
them into global trade,' Newcombe said.
The Kyoto Protocol commits industrialised countries to reduce
their greenhouse emissions by an average of five percent of 1990
levels by 2012. The pollutants are blamed by many scientists for
causing potentially disastrous global warming. But the treaty also
allows those countries to offset some of those reductions by
investing in clean technologies in the developing world and by
buying emissions credits from other countries that have already
reached their targets. The final rules of how these complex
systems will operate are due to be finalised by environment
ministers who arrive in Marrakesh next Wednesday.
Presenting the scheme's first annual report, Newcombe gave
examples of where its $135 million resources were being spent -- a
plan to buy $3.9 million of emissions reductions over the next 15-
20 years from two small hyrdo projects in Uganda. He said this
would probably result in an estimated buying price of $3 per tonne
of CO2, a fraction of the amount western policy makers have said
even cheap emissions reductions measures would cost in the west.
The European Commission has said such measures would cost 'less
than' 20 euros per tonne of CO2 saved.
This could mean a handsome profit for those companies investing
now, if on a future emissions market CO2 credits change hands for
that kind of money. But Newcombe said that remained a significant
'if' while increasingly governments were still haggling over the
Kyoto rules which may yet create difficult emissions market
conditions or fall apart completely. 'PCF shareholders are taking
a risk,' he said.
15) COMPANIES GAIN COMPETITIVENESS BY CURBING EMISSIONS: SURVEY
15 November 2001
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, Kyodo - Leading multinational corporations
such as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Toyota
Motor Corp. are improving their competitiveness by voluntarily
committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a
report by a U.S. think tank released earlier this month.
The report, titled Corporate Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets,
compiled by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Virginia,
used case studies of six major companies to examine how the
adoption of emissions reduction targets has changed their
performances. The companies covered were IBM, Toyota Motor
Manufacturing North America Inc., oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell,
Swiss-based heavy electric equipment maker Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.,
energy company Entergy Corp. and United Technologies Corp., a
major aircraft parts maker.
After interviewing senior officials of the six companies, the
research concluded all the companies see the climate-related
targets ''as improving their competitive market position by
reducing production costs and enhancing product sales today, and
in anticipation of regulatory and market environments of the
IBM, for example, reduced 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions with improvement in its energy efficiency the past 10
years and saved $527 million in costs, according to the report.
''These companies understand the world cannot avoid dealing in a
serious way with climate change,'' said Eileen Claussen, president
of the think tank. ''And they see that taking action now and not
later can drive new efficiencies, performance improvements and
But the report also noted the risks of adopting climate-related
targets early. It said companies that do so could be disadvantaged
compared with less proactive competitors if governments introduce
no regulatory measures in the near future. Claussen urged the U.S.
government to introduce caps on greenhouse gas emissions and
swiftly establish a system rewarding companies that have taken
early steps to cut emissions. In March, U.S. President George W.
Bush announced the country's withdrawal from the 1997 Kyoto
Protocol to curb global warming, saying it would severely hurt the
U.S. economy. But the report suggests the government introducing
regulatory measures will prompt firms to begin committing
themselves to emissions cuts. The United States would be obliged
under the pact to cut its CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions
by 7% from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
16) STATE LEGISLATORS TRYING TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES EMITTED BY
Nov. 11, 2001
SANTA MONICA -- California may target the tailpipe in a bid to
reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases scientists believe are
behind global warming. While the United States has pulled out of
the Kyoto Protocol to limit or reduce global emissions of the
gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, a small group of California
lawmakers wants the state to adopt a similar policy of its own.
``Someone has to pick up the ball,'' said Assemblywoman Fran
Instead of targeting billowing smokestacks, the legislative effort
focuses on the state's love affair with the car. In California, an
estimated two-thirds of the carbon dioxide released into the
atmosphere comes from the exhaust pipes of the 26 million vehicles
that travel its roads. Nationwide, less than one-third of total
carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicles, with industry and
power generation making up most of the balance.
A bill, written by Pavley, would require by 2005 that the state
adopt laws that result in ``the maximum feasible reduction'' in
carbon dioxide emissions from the state's cars and trucks. Studies
have shown that burning a gallon of gasoline produces about 20
pounds of carbon dioxide. Cutting total emissions, therefore,
requires driving less or more efficiently or using alternate
fuels, such as natural gas. Russell Long, executive director of
the environmental organization Bluewater Network and the bill's
sponsor, said automobile manufacturers could meet the bill's
requirements by upping the gas mileage of new cars, selling fewer
gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles and promoting public transit
Automakers oppose the bill, AB 1058.
``The command-and-control approach . . . would be pre-empted by
federal law, would saddle Californians with higher costs without
providing them any benefit, and ignores other more effective and
equitable approaches to this issue,'' Phillip Isenberg and Steven
Douglas, of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, wrote Pavley
on April 9 in stating the industry group's opposition.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the percentage of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere has steadily risen. The gas, which acts as a
blanket to trap heat that would otherwise be radiated to space,
has led to what scientists say is a slow rise in average
temperatures across the Earth. Over the next century, global
temperatures could rise as much as 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit over
1990 levels, according to the United Nations' Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change.
Such changes would wreak havoc on California, said scientists in
testimony given Friday at an Assembly hearing in Santa Monica on
climate change and policy planning. Everything from the state's
water supply to its susceptibility to devastating wildfires to its
native animal species would be affected. ``Everything we do is
threatened by the specter of climate change,'' said Peter Miller,
senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Curbing California's carbon dioxide emissions would have little
material affect globally, however. The state accounts for about 2
percent of total emissions worldwide. But lawmakers said the bill,
if signed into law, could prompt other states to enact similar
legislation. ``If we're not doing it at a national level, we can
at the state level begin providing steps to reducing greenhouse
gas emissions,'' said Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach.
17) US OIL GIANTS TO MERGE
18 November 2001
The new company will operate across the world
The US energy companies Phillips Petroleum and Conoco have
announced plans for a merger that would create a company with a
market value of about $35bn. The new business will be called
ConocoPhillips, and is set to be the third biggest oil and gas
company in the US in terms of production after Exxon Mobil and
ChevronTexaco. In a joint statement, the companies said the
merger, which still has to be approved by shareholders and US
regulators, would bring better opportunities for growth and
The Conoco-Phillips deal is the latest in a series of big energy
company mergers following the fall in oil prices to very low
levels in 1998. Other deals have included Exxon's combination with
Mobil, BP's takeovers of Amoco and Arco, and a Chevron-Texaco tie-
Conoco chairman and chief executive Archie Dunham said the merger
would "position ConocoPhillips as a stronger US-based global
energy producer by significantly enhancing its capability and
prospects on five continents". The new company, which will have
headquarters in Conoco's base of Houston, is set to be the fifth
biggest global refiner. Mr Dunham will delay his retirement until
2004 and serve as chairman of the new firm.
Phillips chairman James Mulva will become the new company's
president and chief executive. Conoco is one of the world's
biggest energy supply companies, operating in more than 40
countries. It also operates more than 7,000 petrol stations in the
US, Europe and Thailand. In the UK, Conoco owns the Jet brand.
Phillips Petroleum, which has its headquarters in Bartlesville,
Oklahoma, is a familiar name to motorists in the US with its
Phillips 66 brand.
18) US ENERGY DEMAND TO RISE BY ONE-THIRD BY 2020-EIA
November 16, 2001
WASHINGTON - U.S. energy demand is expected to increase by one-
third over the next two decades, as businesses and consumers use
more oil and electricity to fuel a growing American economy,
according to a government report released this week. Growth in
commercial buildings and personal travel, combined with slower
increases in fuel efficiency for cars and trucks, is expected to
account for the large increase in energy demand by 2020. The
Energy Department's statistical arm, the Energy Information
Administration, issued its annual report with demand and supply
forecasts stretching out to 2020.
Total U.S. demand for all types of energy is projected to jump
from 99 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2000 to 131
quadrillion Btu in 2020. The latter is higher than what the EIA
projected for 2020 in its annual report last year. Domestic crude
oil production is projected to decline slightly by 2020 to 5.6
million barrels per day (bpd). As a result, foreign imports are
expected to account for 62 percent of U.S. oil supplies by 2020,
up from 53 percent in 2000, the EIA said. However, that rise is
lower than the 64 percent-share for oil imports by 2020 that EIA
forecast in its report last year.
The difference is due to higher expected domestic production from
new oil fields in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve. The
National Petroleum Reserve, covering 23 million acres in
northwestern Alaska, has been owned by the federal government
since the 1920s for military fuel. In 1999, the Interior
Department leased some tracts in the reserve to energy companies,
which have reported at least two discoveries.
Another lease sale in the reserve is planned for June. The EIA
report also projected world oil demand would increase from the
current 76 million bpd to 118.9 million bpd by 2020, due to higher
demand in the United States and developing countries in the
Pacific Rim, and Central and South America. OPEC oil production is
expected to reach 57.5 million bpd in two decades, up from the
cartel's 30 million bpd this year. Other highlights of the EIA
*Coal remains the primary fuel for U.S. electricity generation,
although( its share is projected to decline from 52 percent in
2000 to 46 percent by 2020.
* Natural gas demand will increase by 50 percent by 2020, largely
* Carbon dioxide(popularity as a fuel for U.S. electricity
generation. emissions from U.S. fuel consumption will reach 2,088
million tonnes by 2020, 54 * Nuclear generating capacity(percent
higher than the 1,352 tonnes in 1990. will decline because of the
high cost to maintain aging U.S. nuclear power
19) KYOTO PREFECTURE LAUNCHES 8,500 MW WIND FACILITY
A major wind project is under way in the northern Kyoto town on
Ine. The Kyoto prefectural government launched the wind power
station on the Sea of Japan coast, as part of its environmental
protection efforts. (Discharging annually some 5,900 tons of
global-warming carbon dioxide less than a thermal plant, the
estimated 1.5 billion yen project is environmentally friendly
aside from generating an estimated total of 8,500 megawatts of
electricity annually, enough for some 2,300 homes.
With the adoption of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on curbing global
warming, the prefectural government decided to build the wind
power station, prefectural officials said. The officials said the
electricity generated will be sold to Kansai Electric Power Co.
and will produce an annual revenue stream of some 100 million yen
for the prefectural government. The six wind turbines, which
produce a combined estimate of 4,500 kilowatts of electricity,
were built on Mt. Taikoyama, some 680 meters high. Including the
rotors, they are an estimated 75 meters tall and 50 meters wide.
20) GERMAN PARLIAMENT UPS SUBSIDIES FOR GREEN ENERGY
November 19, 2001
FRANKFURT - Germany's parliament has agreed to increase subsidies
next year for four kinds of renewable energy, overruling Economics
Minister Werner Mueller who had wanted to cut financial support
for the sector.
The parliamentary budget committee decided to raise subsidies for
solar, thermal, biogas and geothermal energy to 400 million marks
from 300 million in 2001, said a source from the Green Party on
Thursday. Mueller, who is politically independent, had proposed to
cut this budget by 100 million marks.
The minister had also wanted to cut the government's research
budget into renewable energy by 65 million marks to 235 million
marks from 300 million but the committee decided to cut the budget
by less to 274 million marks.
It might end up being higher than the 274 million figure because
another six million marks could still become available from the
"It is positive that Mueller's plans could be partially averted,"
the source said.
"There was a consensus that it is important to help ease the way
for renewable energies into the market.
21) HOPING TO FUEL DEMAND WITH SUPPLY
November 15, 2001; Page B03
For nearly a decade, state and federal governments have been
buying fleets of vehicles capable of running on a cleaner-burning
mixture of gasoline and ethanol. Few of the vehicles, however,
have ever had a drop in their tanks because the blend is available
at just 101 fuel stations nationwide -- most of them in the
Midwest. Yesterday, a mom-and-pop Chevron in Laurel became the
first fuel station in Maryland and only the second in the mid-
Atlantic region to offer E85, a mixture of gasoline and an alcohol
fuel distilled from corn or other grains. The blend has been
touted as an alternative to foreign oil and as being gentler on
the environment, though the environmental claim has been debated.
Maryland Energy Administration officials hope to open E85 pumps in
Annapolis, Gaithersburg and Baltimore in the next year. At a pump
festooned with red, white and blue flags, beaming auto
manufacturing representatives and farmers applauded as the first
state vehicle -- a standard-issue white Ford Taurus -- was filled
with the blend of 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline. "If you
want people to use the fuel, you've got to provide the stations
where they can buy it," said Richard F. Pecora, deputy secretary
of the Maryland General Services Administration.
Aiming to reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions by boosting the use of alternative fuels, the federal
Energy Policy Act of 1992 required that vehicles capable of
running on alternative fuels make up 75 percent of state
government fleets. Under a U.S. program to encourage development
of such vehicles, auto manufacturers have received credits for
producing ethanol-burning cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles.
Those credits allow the companies to build more vehicles that get
lower average gas mileage. But because ethanol fuel is sold in
just 20 states and, consequently, many alternative fuel vehicles
are burning regular gasoline, the program has actually increased
pollution, a U.S. Department of Transportation draft study
concluded this year.
"Given the slow rate of growth in the alternative fuel
infrastructure, it does not appear likely that any energy
conservation and environmental benefits will be realized through .
. . 2008 unless strong financial incentives are put in place," the
report said. After talking for more than a year with oil
companies, none of which expressed any great interest in opening
an E85 pump in Maryland, officials came upon Kevin Falls's Chevron
It's a modest two-bay repair and fuel station just up the road
from Fort Meade and the National Security Administration, two
federal installations with growing fleets of alternative fuel
vehicles. Officials lined up a U.S. Energy Department grant that
would cover the cost of installing the pump, so Falls agreed. He
is selling E85 for the same price as premium gasoline -- $1.33 a
gallon -- and figures that if nothing else, it will bring more
customers to the part of his business that turns a profit.
"The more people you get at the pump, the more jobs we get in the
[repair] bays," Falls said. "I figure this'll only help with
that." Jobs are what farmers from the Maryland Grain Producers
Association see in Falls's E85 pump. They tout the fuel as a way
to boost demand for corn, soybeans and other grains. "It's going
to mean money in our pockets with an increase in grain prices,"
said Donnie Tennyson, association president.
The group is looking into building the East Coast's first ethanol
production plant in Maryland, in the same way it has been done in
the Midwest. There, farmers have raised money to build and operate
plants that convert their corn, soybeans and other crops into
ethanol, which is then mixed with gasoline and sold at service
stations primarily in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Officials
estimate that as many as half a million vehicles in the Washington
region can run on an ethanol fuel mix. Only one other station in
the region sells E85 -- the Navy Annex Citgo in Alexandria, near
With the opening of the E85 pump in Laurel, local auto dealerships
said they will begin notifying customers who have bought
alternative fuel vehicles. They also said their salespeople will
make the fuel option part of their pitch. "If you have the
motivation and the fuel, we have the vehicles," said Michael
Paritee, manager of alternative fuels and government sales for
General Motors. Several of its vehicles -- including the 5.3-liter
Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon and Yukon XLS and S-10 pickups -- can run
There is some debate over the environmental benefits of E85.
Advocates tout its ability to reduce carbon monoxide emissions,
but opponents note that when ethanol is blended with gasoline, the
fuel evaporates at a higher rate, producing smog.
Environmentalists also say distilling corn starch into ethanol is
an energy-intensive process, often involving coal. Even so, local
groups welcomed the opening of the Laurel pump.
"I'd like to think that 10 years from now our farmers will be
growing a lot of our energy," said Michael Heller, of the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "Not just corn and barley, but warm-
season grasses that can soak up nutrient pollution, then be
harvested and turned into fuel."
22) ECN HARPS ON ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGY
Daily Trust (Abuja)
November 19, 2001
The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has advocated renewed
energy technology for national energy development especially in
the remote areas and independent mini-grids to improve power
supply all over the country. The Director-General of the Energy
Commission of Nigeria, Professor I. H. Umar stated this at a
workshop on "Creating Demand and Removing Barriers to Renewable
Energy Market Development in Nigeria," last week in Abuja.
Professor Umar disclosed that the ECN has established a number of
pilot renewable energy projects in various locations throughout
Nigeria and it developed a number of policy recommendations in
favour of renewable energy technologies in the draft national
energy policy. In addition, the ECN documented a number of
recommended policy incentives for the development of renewable
energy market in the country and currently, it is before the
appropriate committee of the National Assembly for consideration.
He added that for the renewable energy to successfully play its
role, all barriers and strategies for their removal must be
identified in order to allow greater market penetration of the new
energy technologies. According to him, the suitable renewable
energy market will yield dividends in other social sectors such as
agriculture, health, education, and telecommunications and to
facilitate the provision of water for rural communities.
He commended the financial assistance given by the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) and United States
Department of Energy, as well as the government of Norway, the
World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP).
23) UK NUKES WANT HIGHER PRICES FOR THEIR CO2-FREE POWER
November 14, 2001
LONDON - Britain should pay nuclear power generators extra for
their electricity in recognition they do not produce greenhouse
gases and to make it economic to build new plants, nuclear power
companies argued yesterday. Companies say as nuclear power does
not produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), widely
blamed for contributing to global warming, they should receive
similar incentives to renewable energy generators.
"We need a coherent commitment to a long-term mechanism in the
market which will encourage CO2-free forms of electricity
generation," Adrian Ham, director general of the British Nuclear
Industry Forum told a parliamentary trade and industry committee
investigating energy policy. The committee inquiry coincides with
a government review of energy policy which will look at the future
for nuclear power. Nuclear supplies about a quarter of the UK's
electricity but this is set to decline in coming years unless new
plants are built to replace old ones due to close.
A recent slump in UK electricity prices has made it uneconomic to
build new nuclear power stations and, unless the government
intervenes, companies will choose to build gas-fired plants, the
committee heard. British Energy , the country's largest generator,
said it generated electricity for 1.8 pence/kilowatt hour - on a
par with UK forward power prices - but the cost of power from new
nuclear power stations was at least 2.2 pence/KWh.
New costs are higher because they include full capital costs
whereas British Energy's plants were built by the government and
some of the costs were written off on privatisation in 1996.
British Energy said a premium for nuclear power of one pence/KWh
would bridge the gap between power prices and new plant costs, and
add a 0.25 pence/KWh to consumers' bills. "This compares to the
extra cost of 0.75 pence for renewables. Renewables have a much
higher cost for consumers than nuclear," Mike Kirwan, director of
strategy and business development at British Energy, told the
The government, keen to boost the green energy sector, has
introduced rules from next year obliging electricity suppliers to
buy a certain amount of power from renewable sources. Nuclear
companies also called on the government to make a decision quickly
on whether to allow them to build new plants, saying slow planning
procedures mean it can take up to 10 years from deciding to build
a plant to it coming on line. Britain's other nuclear generator,
state-owned BNFL, operates the ageing Magnox plants and has
already started closing its plants and will switch off the last
one in 2021, leaving only British Energy's more modern plants
24) NEW PINK FLOYD ALBUM WILL CREATE FOUR NEW FORESTS
The latest album from the rock band Pink Floyd is going to result
in the creation of four new long term indigenous forests, with the
number of copies being sold reflected in the number of trees
planted. The band's new album, Echoes, a two CD retrospective with
26 greatest hits, will become carbon neutral, so that the carbon
emissions resulting from its production and distribution will be
offset by the planting of indigenous forests in Dryhope Burn,
Scotland; Bangalore, India; Chiapas, Mexico; and Tensas River
National Wildlife Park, Louisiana in the US.
The project is being carried out in conjunction with the carbon
neutral consultancy company, Future Forests. "Our climate is
changing. We can all do something to stop the problem escalating -
and no action is too small," said Future Forests co-founder Dan
Morrell. "Alongside reducing emissions at source, forestry has a
real role to play, soaking up some of the carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. We are proud to be working with Pink Floyd and their
fans, to help make a difference."
According to Future Forests, the music industry was among the
first supporters of the company's scheme, beginning four years ago
around a camp fire at Glastonbury Festival, when Neneh Cherry was
so excited by the scheme that she helped the company talk to other
music industry stars such as Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
25) IBM SUPERCOMPUTER TO RESEARCH CLIMATE CHANGE
9 November 2001
NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp.
(IBM.N) on Friday said the National Center for Atmospheric
Research will use an IBM supercomputer that will be seven times
faster than its current computer to study weather. The
supercomputer, code-named 'Blue Sky', will enable the Boulder,
Colorado-based research center's to process information about
climate changes at seven teraflops, or seven trillion calculations
per second. The $24 million computer was purchased by the National
Science Foundation, the research center's primary sponsor.
The research center will use the computer to forecast climate
changes that impact agricultural output, heating oil prices and
global warming, IBM said. The supercomputer will be supplied in
two stages with the first part delivered this fall and doubling
the computer's speed to two teraflops, or two trillion
calculations per second. In the fall of 2002, the center will add
other computer parts to increase the speed to seven teraflops.
26) ROBOTS DIVE IN QUEST FOR WEATHER SECRETS OF SEAS
November 18, 2001
SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- High-tech robots able to dive to
two kilometers (1.24 miles) are being sent to the seas in an
underwater weather mapping campaign that could help spare remote
villagers from famine as well as guide torpedoes to deadly
accurate hits. Australian scientists are at the forefront of a
global drive to tap the secrets of the seas through free-floating
robots, after a successful two-year trial of 10 of the
sophisticated instruments off the northwest coast of Western
"A revolutionary international ocean monitoring system has been
confirmed," said Craig Macaulay of Australia's government-backed
science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization (CSIRO). Around 3,000 of the floating,
diving robots will be placed by 13 nations in the world's seas,
including the Southern Ocean, which swirls around the Antarctic,
over the next five years. The 1.5 meter-long cylindrical aluminum
floats, valued at around A$30,000 (U.S.$15,600) each, are sub-sea
equivalents of weather balloons, drifting with currents at depths
of two kilometers (1.24 miles), surfacing every 10 days to send
The information, beamed to super-computers via satellites, will
provide virtually continuous mapping of sea currents, temperatures
and salinity, for the first time. Near real-time accuracy will be
precise enough to tell submarine commanders whether to fire that
torpedo or whether invisible water conditions will make it a
wasted shot. There will be applications for shipping, oil
drilling, marine safety and rescue and fisheries, Australian
But potentially the biggest payoff will be use with atmospheric
data to better predict major weather events, including El Nino/La
Nina phenomena which have killed and devastated communities over
ages with droughts, floods and fires.
"In our world it's like a revolution that we're going through,"
scientist Neville Smith of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology
Research Center told Reuters. Smith established the Global Ocean
Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) which has been conducting
Indian Ocean trials between Christmas Island and Australia's
"In a year we'll have the same amount of information on salinity
as we've collected in our history. It's that big leap for salinity
which has a lot of people very excited," he said. Salinity
dictates how oceans interact with the atmosphere, on short time
scales with El Nino events which cause wild swings in rainfall,
and on long time scales for climate change, he said. Subsea
weather maps -- which GODAE aims to produce within 24 hours of
receiving data -- would greatly increase the certainty of
predictions of weather events, such as El Ninos, and ocean
patterns, used by offshore drillers and in coastal management.
"The biggest impact is that it will introduce some certainty into
greenhouse discussions and El Nino forecasts," Smith said.
The first 10 floats were placed in October 1999, followed by seven
more in the Pacific Ocean between Western Samoa and New Caledonia
in July this year jointly by Australia and the United States, and
deployment will speed up over the next two years. Britain will
place floats in Antarctic waters before the end of this year,
Japan will put floats into the Indian Ocean within six months,
India will follow with more floats after that.
About 900 floats will cover the Southern Ocean, which Smith
describes as "the oceanic engine-room driving global climate."
Canada, China, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, South
Korea, New Zealand and Spain are also involved in the U.S.$15
million a year program. The trial floats deployed by Australia had
already helped reveal how powerful currents flowing from the
Pacific into the Indian Ocean north of Australia spawned huge
ocean eddies 600 kilometers across, said CSIRO oceanographer Susan
Wijffels, manager of Australia's robotic floats project.
Scientists had learned that weather across western and southern
Australia was linked to patches of warm and cool water in the
Indian Ocean, producing an interaction known as the Indian Ocean
Dipole, a cousin of the El Nino effect in the Pacific.
27) STUDY CASTS DOUBT ON USES OF CARBON SINKS
November 8, 2001
WASHINGTON, DC, November 8, 2001 (ENS) - The earth's land based
ecosystems absorbed all of the carbon released by deforestation
plus another 1.4 billion tons emitted by fossil fuel burning
during the 1990s, a new study suggests. But the study also warns
that so called carbon sinks cannot be counted on to mop up carbon
dioxide emissions indefinitely. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the
primary greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere from human
activities. Ongoing negotiations regarding international efforts
to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gases have included
discussions about carbon sinks - natural and manmade areas where
plant growth absorbs carbon emitted from human sources.
A study published this week in the journal "Nature" indicates that
carbon sinks were able to mop up most of the naturally and
artificially emitted carbon dioxide over the past decade. However,
with carbon emissions on the rise, and vegetated areas continuing
to shrink, that situation is likely to change, the researchers
said. "We could easily see this robust transfer of carbon out of
the atmosphere and into land based ecosystems that occurred in the
1990s slow down in the future," said the paper's lead author,
David Schimel, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research
Fossil fuel burning, cement manufacture, and deforestation gave
off about seven billion tons of carbon per year during the 1980s
and eight billion tons each year during the 1990s, about half of
it ending up in the earth's atmosphere, the study shows. In the
1980s the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere from
deforestation about equaled that taken up by land ecosystems into
various sinks. During the 1990s the balance tipped, and 1.4
billion tons more carbon ended up in land based ecosystems than in
the atmosphere, despite continuing deforestation.
"Land and ocean processes have, in essence, provided a major, but
far from permanent, subsidy to humans, protecting the atmosphere
from many of the consequences of deforestation and burning fossil
fuels," said co-author professor Chris Field from the Carnegie
Institution of Washington. Land use changes in the Northern
Hemisphere have been partly responsible for carbon uptake during
the 1990s, the researchers found. In the United States, trees and
other growth expanded on abandoned agricultural land, while a
reduction in fires allowed forests to spread. Increased plant
growth spurred by increasing carbon dioxide and nitrogen deposits
- a process more noticeable in Europe and Asia - also helped clear
the air of CO2 buildup.
"Forests can only replace farms for so long," explained Schimel.
"Eventually new trees and grasses reach maturity and soak up less
carbon dioxide. Similarly, there's a limit to how much forests can
fill in and spread, even with successful fire suppression." Over
time, the effects of climate change on ecosystems will probably
reduce sinks globally, write the authors. Meanwhile, carbon
dioxide emissions are expected to continue to rise because of
The results have potential implications for the Kyoto Protocol
negotiations now underway in Morocco. Under the Kyoto Protocol, an
addition to the United Nations framework climate change treaty, 38
industrialized nations have agreed to cut their emissions of six
greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Recent difficulties in
talks over the Protocol have included a lack of scientific
knowledge about the strength and distribution of carbon sinks and
how they vary from year to year. The new "Nature" study, produced
by a team of 30 leading carbon scientists from around the world,
draws on a large body of research to build up a new and
comprehensive picture of carbon sinks on land.
"It is a major step forward in understanding where terrestrial
carbon sinks actually are, why they are there, and how long they
will operate into the future," said Dr Will Steffen, one of the
authors and executive director of the International Geosphere-
Biosphere Programme (IGBP), which coordinated the production of
the paper. The paper represents a major advance in terms of
reconciling two different approaches to measuring the strength of
carbon sinks and sources. Historically, researchers have used two
types of measurements: 1) direct measurement of CO2 in the
atmosphere, and 2) on the ground measurements on the basis of
forest growth and soil uptake etc.
Until now, these two techniques have provided inconsistent
results. In this study the authors show that, on the broad scale,
they are consistent. The authors point out that there are many
regional differences in the strength of terrestrial carbon sinks.
Much of Siberia, for example, has been warming at a rate of about
0.5° C per decade since the 1960s and an increase in wild fires
and insect damage appears to have converted this region from a
sink into a temporary carbon source with considerable year to year
variability. "Although carbon sinks have a role to play in
absorbing excess carbon dioxide, it is possible that the net
global terrestrial carbon sink may disappear altogether in the
future," said lead author Professor David Schimel from the Max
Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany.
There is also considerable annual variability in sink strength
associated with climatic variations such as the El Niño Southern
Oscillation in tropical and nontropical regions. Globally, there
appears to be a net release of carbon to the atmosphere during
warm, dry years and a net uptake during cooler years.
"This observation gives a hint of how terrestrial sinks may
respond to longer term climate changes such as increased
temperatures," said Dr Steffen.
28) SEA WARMTH LINKED TO SOLAR CYCLES
15 November 2001
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 - The brightening and dimming of the sun may
account for a 1,500-year cycle of cooling and warming on parts of
the Earth, a study of ice in the North Atlantic suggests.
RESEARCHERS FOUND that a very slight difference in the amount of
solar energy reaching the Earth can have a powerful chilling
effect on the climate: Ice builds up in lands bordering the North
Atlantic, the average temperature drops in Europe and North
"Whether the whole Earth is affected, we don't know for sure yet,
but it is certainly implied," said Gerard C. Bond, a researcher at
the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in
Palisades, N.Y. "The effect does extend from the high northern
latitudes down, maybe even to the tropics," said Bond, first
author of a study appearing Friday in the journal Science.
12,000 YEARS OF DATA
The cycle of sunlight intensity roughly follows a 1,500-year
pattern, based on analysis of the past 12,000 years. But the
difference from the top of the cycle to the bottom is very small,
with less than a 0.1 percent difference in energy levels, he said.
Bond and his colleagues believe this is enough to trigger severe
climate changes, such as the Little Ice Age, a 490-year period
starting in 1400 that dramatically chilled Europe and the North
"The climate system is extremely sensitive to weak forces, such as
solar variability," Bond said. "That should make us that much more
worried about greenhouse warming." Greenhouse warming is thought
to be caused by an increase in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide
from the burning of fossil fuels, including oil, gas and coal. The
study is an effort to determine if small changes in sunlight over
centuries can cause the Earth's climate to warm or cool. Other
experts working on the same problem said Bond and his team have
made a strong case.
"It shows that the connection is real," Jeffrey Park of Yale
University said in Science. To David Thomson of Queen's University
in Ontario, Canada, it seems like "a fairly convincing case."
The sun's energy, after traveling 93 million miles to get to
Earth, hits the upper atmosphere at about the intensity of three
100-watt bulbs per square yard. A third is reflected back into
space, two thirds warms the planet and drives its weather engine.
Earth gets its livable temperature (on average 59 degrees
Fahrenheit) thanks to a delicate balance of gases that create a
"greenhouse" effect by trapping heat inside the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases -- water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous
oxide, and others -- absorb heat energy, then re-radiate a portion
of it back to the surface.
Covering two thirds of the planet, oceans are the key source of
moisture in the air and they store heat efficiently, transporting
it thousands of miles. The oceans and marine life also consume
huge amounts of carbon dioxide.
The water cycle
Higher air temperatures can increase water evaporation and melting
of ice. And while water vapor is the most potent greenhouse gas,
clouds also affect evaporation, creating a cooling effect.
They both cool Earth by reflecting solar energy and warm Earth by
trapping heat being radiated up from the surface.
Ice and snow
The whiteness of ice and snow reflects heat out, cooling the
planet. When ice melts into the sea, that drives heat from the
ocean. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has declined 10 percent in
two decades, but no significant melting of the Antarctic ice sheet
has been detected.
Mountain ranges can block clouds, creating 'dry' shadows downwind.
Sloping land allows more water runoff, leaving the land and air
drier. A tropical forest will soak up carbon dioxide, but once
cleared for cattle ranching, the same land becomes a source of
methane, a greenhouse gas.
Humans might be magnifying warming by adding to the greenhouse
gases naturally present in the atmosphere. Fuel use is the chief
cause of rising carbon dioxide levels. On the other hand, humans
create temporary, localized cooling effects through the use of
aerosols, such as smoke and sulfates from industry, which reflect
sunlight away from Earth.
SMALL BITS OF ROCK
Bond and his colleagues analyzed small bits of rock that were
dropped to the Atlantic floor after being carried to sea by
icebergs that broke off glaciers in Iceland and other northern
islands. The rocks fell as the icebergs melted, Bond said. Thus,
the farther south the rocks fell, the farther south the icebergs
drifted, providing a measure of ocean temperature. To determine
when the rocks were dropped, researchers dated the age of shells
deposited at the same time and place.
The 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling corresponds to data
from tree ring studies, another way of measuring the sun's
strength over time. Bond said the sun, at its most energetic,
strengthens the Earth's magnetic field, which blocks more cosmic
rays, a type of radiation streaking in from deep space.
When cosmic rays hit plants, they cause the formation of certain
isotopes, such as carbon-14, that can be measured in ancient tree
rings. A tree ring rich in carbon-14 suggests an inactive sun, for
example. Measurements of the iceberg drift and the tree rings
showed a similar cycle, Bond said.
"The connection we observed is that the increases in icebergs and
drift ice occur at the same times as the increase in (carbon-14),
which means the sun was weaker," said Bond. He said the findings
also agree with studies that measured the chilling of the Earth
based on the advance and retreat of alpine glaciers in Europe.
RECOVERING FROM ICE AGE
Bond said Earth's temperature is still recovering from the Little
Ice Age, when ocean temperatures dropped by 2 to 3 degrees. That
change was enough for ice to jam most of the North Atlantic,
closing many ports in the winter and affecting the weather
throughout Europe. Rivers that never freeze in modern times were
routinely used then for ice skating, Bond said. Based on the
1,500-year cycle, Bond said that the Earth's next little ice age
could occur about the year 3100, plus or minus 500 years.
29) MOSQUITO ADAPTS TO WARMING
November 12, 2001; Page A09
Many plants and animals have adapted to rising temperatures that
have occurred over the second half of the 20th century. Some
birds, for example, have started laying their eggs earlier or have
changed their migration patterns. Now, scientists have for the
first time identified a creature that appears to be evolving in
direct response to global warming -- the pitcher plant mosquito
appears to have had its genes altered by rising temperatures.
Mosquitoes collected from Florida to Canada between 1972 and 1996
were found to have shifted their breeding and development patterns
as temperatures have risen, according to a team led by William E.
Bradshaw of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Because this
behavior is genetically programmed, the researchers concluded that
the mosquito "represents an example of actual genetic
differentiation of a seasonality trait that is consistent with an
adaptive evolutionary (genetic) response to global warming."
"Our results suggest that other species may be in the process of
analogous evolutionary response," the researchers wrote in an
article released last week by the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
30) SATELLITE DATA CONFIRMS WARMING OF EARTH'S CLIMATE
Environmental News Network
November 14, 2001
A clear pattern of global warming is emerging as American space
scientists analyze satellite data from more than 7,000 weather
stations around the world. The layer of air that wraps the Earth
is indeed warmer than it has been in the past, according to Dr.
James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New
York and Marc Imhoff of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Hansen, Imhoff, and a team of researchers analyzed records for
7,200 global weather stations and found that the air temperature
near the Earth's surface has warmed on average by one degree
Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius) globally over the last century.
The researchers cite human influence as at least a partial cause.
"Warming around the world has been widespread, but it is not
present everywhere," Hansen said.
Warming in the past 50 years has been rapid in Alaska and Siberia,
but Greenland has become cooler. The lower 48 United States have
become warmer recently, but only enough to make the temperature
comparable to what it was in the 1930s. The warming air is due to
the greenhouse effect - the warming of climate that results when
the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.
Certain gases in the atmosphere resemble glass in a greenhouse,
allowing sunlight to pass into the greenhouse, but blocking
Earth's heat from escaping into space.
The gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect include water
vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxides, and
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Atmospheric CO2 has increased about 25
percent since the early 1800s. Climatologists at the Goddard Space
Flight Center estimate the increase since 1958 has been about 10
percent. Currently the level of atmospheric C02 is increasing at a
rate of about 0.4 percent a year. Human beings add CO2 to the
atmosphere mainly by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Deforestation is the second major way humans increase atmospheric
CO2. Felled timber releases carbon dioxide as it burns or decays,
and disturbed soils produce CO2 from burned organic matter.
Forests give way largely to annual crops that store CO2 for only a
season or to cities with little vegetation at all.
Hansen and Imhoff are making an effort to minimize any distortion
of the record caused by urban heat island effects as they research
global warming. Urban heat islands are created when cities replace
fields and forests with asphalt roads and tar roofs. Trees provide
shade and cool the air through evaporation. Hard dark surfaces
such as pavement store heat during the day, which is released at
night, keeping the city hotter for longer periods of time than
temperatures in the same area before the city was built.
To counteract the urban heat island effect, Hansen and Imhoff used
images of nighttime lights obtained by U.S. Defense Meteorological
Satellites to identify weather stations where urbanization was
most likely to contaminate the weather records. The researchers
used the night-light brightness to classify the location of each
weather station as urban, near-urban, or rural. They found more
warming generally occurred at urban stations and used neighboring
rural stations to adjust the long-term temperature trend at urban
stations, obtaining a more accurate measure of the true climate
Hansen and his colleagues classified the global climate into three
time segments between 1900 and 2000. Each segment revealed a small
swing in the Earth's global temperature over a period of time.
From 1900 to 1940, the data showed the world warmed. "That warming
may be in part a response to released greenhouse gases and in part
natural climate variability," Imhoff said.
Between 1940 and 1965, the globe cooled by about 0.18 degree
Fahrenheit (0.1 degree Celsius), which some scientists attribute
to an increase in fine airborne particles, known as aerosols,
during this time. Most aerosols occur naturally, originating from
volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living
vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning
of fossil fuels and the alteration of natural vegetation cover,
also generate aerosols.
Averaged over the globe, aerosols made by human activities
currently account for about 10 percent of the total amount of
aerosols in our atmosphere. Most of that 10 percent is
concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere, especially downwind of
industrial sites, slash-and-burn agricultural regions, and
overgrazed grasslands. Aerosols can lead to more cloud cover and
block incoming radiation. Aerosol increases are related to the
rate of growth of fossil fuel use, which peaked in this period
from 1940 to 1965.
The third period, from 1965 to 2000, showed a large and widespread
warming around the world. During this time, warming intensified in
the El Niño region of the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the Indian,
Atlantic, and Arctic oceans also warmed. This research was
conducted as part of NASA's Earth Sciences Enterprise, a long-term
research effort dedicated to understanding how natural and human-
induced changes affect our global environment.
31) ALGERIA DEATH TOLL HEADS FOR 1,000
14 November 2001
The death toll from violent storms which soaked Algeria over the
weekend has risen to 650 people. They gave us nothing, not even
picks or shovels, so we dig with saucepans and stainless steel
plates, or even with our hands. Rescue workers are attempting to
extricate bodies from the mounds of mud - in some places up to 13
feet high - but the work has been hindered by a lack of adequate
equipment. "They gave us nothing, not even picks or shovels, so we
dig with saucepans and stainless steel plates, or even with our
hands," said one volunteer.
No sniffer dogs
A civil defence officer told Reuters news agency that Algeria had
no sniffer dogs, which could be used to find the dead. Interior
Minister Nourredine Yazid said there was no hope of finding
survivors. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have
launched a $1.2m appeal for the victims of Algeria's worst floods
in 40 years. An estimated 24,000 people have been made homeless or
International aid has begun arriving from European and Arabic
countries and the funds from the Red Cross appeal would help buy
emergency shelters and first aid for the victims. France has sent
a cargo plane with tents, beds and blankets and water purification
equipment to provide drinking water for up to 100,000 people a
day, and the UN World Food Programme said it would send tents,
water equipment and other aid donated by the Italian Government.
The majority of the dead, according to Algerian officials, were
from a densely populated area of the capital Algiers, Bab El Oued.
When President Adbelaziz Bouteflika tried to visit the scene on
Monday, he was met with hecklers shouting "government assassins"
and his minders quickly moved him away. The protests have
continued over the last two days, with angry youths taking to the
streets of Algiers, shouting anti-government slogans, according to
the local press. The government is accused of having contributed
to the devastation by deliberately blocking the drains in some of
the poorer areas.
They did this in the early 1990s when Islamist militants used the
drainage system to make their escape after carrying out
assassinations and bomb attacks. Although the militants were
largely forced out of the city some years ago, the drains have
never been unblocked, although Mohamed Ouchene, Algiers City
Council Secretary General, told national television drains in Bab
el Oued were regularly maintained. The Algerian Government has
said it will offer housing and financial assistance to those
hardest hit by the storm.
32) FIRES SCORCH THE PARCHED EASTERN U.S.
14 November 2001
WASHINGTON, DC, November 14, 2001 (ENS) - Severe drought
conditions, along with dry leaves that have fallen from trees,
have contributed to increased wildland fire activity across the
eastern U.S. The Appalachian mountain region is now experiencing
its worst wildfire season in a decade, with thick smoke blanketing
hundreds of miles in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina,
Virginia and West Virginia.
According to a fire meteorologist from the National Weather
Service, southeast and eastern states have experienced extremely
low humidity and drought conditions for several weeks now. No
significant rainfall is expected for at least ten days. More than
100 federal wildland fire crews, mostly from western states, have
been sent to the area to help suppress the fires - many started
Some area schools have been forced to close, emergency rooms have
been flooded with people experiencing trouble breathing, and
vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly, are
being warned to stay indoors. Many mountain roads in southern
Appalachia are covered with smoke so thick that cars must drive
with their headlights on, in broad daylight. On Monday, a crash
near Pikeville, Kentucky that was attributed to the poor
visibility killed one person. More than 150,000 acres of woods
have been scorched in southern Kentucky so far this year - some
96,600 acres burning in the past two weeks alone. In Tennessee,
about 25,000 acres have burned since the beginning of November.
Last week, 67,370 acres burned in Georgia, Kentucky, North
Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. On Saturday, a
firefighter was killed in Tennessee after fire overran the region
where he was cutting a fire line. On Monday, a Forest Service
helicopter dropping water on a fire in eastern Kentucky crashed,
sending its pilot to the hospital.
More than a dozen people have been arrested in Kentucky and
Tennessee for setting some of the blazes. The largest fire in
Kentucky, the massive Kentucky River Complex, has scorched 34,166
acres in nine counties surrounding Hazard, Kentucky. Federal
assistance has been authorized for an uncontrolled South Carolina
blaze that is threatening residential areas in Horry County. The
fire, which started last Wednesday, had burned 1,500 acres when
the state asked for federal help this weekend.
So far this year, more than 3.5 million acres have burned in fires
across the nation. October 2001 set drought records in several
states. It was the third driest October ever for Connecticut and
New Jersey; the fourth driest for Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
Delaware and Virginia; and the fifth driest for Maryland,
according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the
University of Nebraska. The severe drought conditions have parched
eastern North Carolina and central Georgia, parts of western
Virginia and west central Georgia. Streamflows are very low, and
water restrictions are being enforced across many parts of
Reservoirs in the Delaware River Basin which serve New York City
are now under a drought warning, holding only 33 percent of their
full capacity. The drought is drying up wells and crops in rural
areas, and many states have banned all outdoor burning for the
foreseeable future. Little or no rain is forecast for the entire
eastern U.S. for at least the next few days.
33) GLOBAL WARMING MAY HIT SKIING
17 November 2001
Scientists are warning that global warming is melting Alpine
glaciers at an unprecedented rate. They claim that in 15 years
time, many low level ski resorts could have no snow at all. "It is
estimated that 50 to 90 percent of current Alpine glaciers will
have disappeared by the end of the 21st Century
Temperatures have already risen about one degree in the last 10
years. This has caused the snow line to recede up the side of most
mountains by an average of 150 metres. In the European Alps, it
could move from 1200 metres to 1800 metres within 15 years.
Professor Martin Beniston, from Fribourg University in
Switzerland, says the future is very worrying. "Global warming
will reduce the snow pack area and glaciers will experience
accelerated melting", he says. "It is estimated that 50 to 90
percent of current Alpine glaciers will have disappeared by the
end of the 21st Century".
Detailed climate research is now being carried out at several
areas, including the Swiss resort of Zermatt. Zermatt is one of
the highest resorts in the Alps, with skiing available at over
3000 metres. But even here things are changing. "We see the
glaciers going back and the crevasses getting bigger", says local
mountain guide Mathias Hediger. "It really saddens me to see the
mountains kind of falling apart". Low level skiing resorts have
the most to lose as they could end up with no snow at all.
Swiss mountain guide
Many are investing heavily in snow-making machines but their
spending could be in vein. Snow cannons only work if the air
temperature is below freezing in the first place. In some resorts,
skiing could disappear all together. "Many people say global
warming is not happening. Well it is", says Peter Hardy, co-editor
of 'The Good Skiing and Snowboarding Guide'.
"Some of the low level ski resorts will simply be wiped out. At
Christmas this year I would not dream of going to a resort below
1800 metres". But according to an expert at England's Reading
University, it might not all be bad news. Dr David Stephenson,
head of climate research at the university, is studying long-term
climate changes in the Alps. "There will be greater snow falls at
in the higher resorts," he said. "So although fewer ski resorts
will have snow, those that do could well have more of it." For the
higher resorts like Val Thorens, Zermatt and Tignes, the future
could be bright.
Latest weather trends also show the skiing and boarding season is
extending into spring, as more snow tends to fall at the high
resorts late in the season.
Skiers might find conditions better at the end of the season
So although many of the tour operators close down after Easter,
there is often great skiing well beyond that. The highest resort
in The Alps is Val Thorens in France. At the beginning of May this
year, when most skiers had gone home, a select few were enjoying
excellent conditions. Fiona Sweetman from the Ski Club of Great
Britain took advantage of the uncrowded pistes and great snow.
"The conditions here are fantastic," she said. "We have blue sky,
fresh snow and no lift queues. I really don't know why people ski
in January in the cold when they could be enjoying this".
Other skiers and boarders could learn from this and make their
trips later in the year. If current climate changes continue and
the scientists are right, then winter skiing at low level resorts
could become a thing of the past.
34) RESEARCHER: SEA LEVEL RISING FASTER
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Sea level has risen between 12 and 20
inches along Maine's coast and as much as two feet in Nova Scotia
during the past 250 years, according to a team of international
researchers. It's the biggest rise in the past millennium and
global warming is to blame, said Roland Gehrels of the University
of Plymouth in England.
``Sea level today is rising faster than at any time in the past
when it was subject to natural climate change,'' the lead
researcher said. He said sea level rose at the end of the 18th
century as a result of natural warming. The rate of increase
slowed, but then increased in the 20th century as
industrialization swept the globe. The findings were presented at
the Geological Society of America's annual meeting last week in
Gehrels and researchers from the University of Maine, the
University of Plymouth and Reading University in England studied
sites at Machiasport and Wells in Maine, and at Chezzetcook in
Nova Scotia. Gehrels and his team reconstructed sea levels by
using new dating techniques on salt marsh sediments. Gehrels
drilled into the three locations and sampled sediments from the
core. He was able to reconstruct the sea level by focusing on a
fossilized microorganisms called foraminifera.
He determined how often the marshes were flooded by comparing the
levels of foraminifera in the core with those typically found on
the surface. That helped him to determine the sea levels. The
reconstructed data for most of the 20th century was verified by
tide-gauge records, which date from 1912 in Maine, giving greater
confidence of the accuracy of the data going back in time.
``It's a wonderful result. It's really exciting,'' said Orson van
de Plassche of the Free University in Amsterdam, Netherlands, who
has conducted similar research at salt marshes in Connecticut.
Gehrels' researchers were able to determine sea levels 1,200 years
back at the Maine locations and 300 years back in Nova Scotia.
Gehrels said his techniques worked particularly well in Maine
because salt water marshes have been undisturbed by storms and
erosion over the years. Part of the reason is that they are
covered by ice for much of the year.
Sea level rose faster in eastern Maine and Nova Scotia because the
coastline gradually sank as the last ice age receded north,
Gehrels said. The two sites are roughly 200 miles apart. Gehrels'
research is important as the world focuses on recent climate
change, said Joseph T. Kelley of the University of Maine. Other
research has looked at broad sea level changes over thousands of
years but Gehrels' research focused on a more recent span of time
increments of as little as 10 to 20 years, which is more relevant
in the climate debate.
35) CROP HOTSPOTS SPELL HUNGER, UN SAYS
8 November 2001
Scientists say some agricultural harvests could fall by about one-
third as global temperatures increase. They believe crops like
rice and wheat will find it harder in a warmer world to flower and
to set seed. They also think farmers will have to find new areas
to cultivate valuable export crops like tea and coffee. Their
warning is published by the UN Environment Programme (Unep). The
findings on staple food crops come from the International Rice
Research Institute in Manila.
Dr John Sheehy, a crop ecologist at the institute, said many food
crops grown in the tropics were at or near their thermal limits,
and would find it difficult to cope with further temperature
rises. Dr Sheehy said: "In rice, wheat and maize, grain yields are
likely to decline by 10% for every one degree Celsius increase in
temperature. This effect appears to occur when temperatures in the
tropics climb over 30 degrees Celsius during flowering. "I would
say we are at or close to this threshold. Heat damage has been
seen in Cambodia and India.
Coffee crops may feel the heat
"We are certainly seeing significant temperature rises with
average night time temperatures at our own centre in the
Philippines now 2.5 degrees higher than they were 50 years ago."
He said there were indications that some of the plants' other
functions could also be damaged. But flowering, a one-off event
which had to succeed, was critical.
One possible solution might be to find genes which would make the
plants flower during the cool of the early morning. Dr Sheehy
said: "Initial results indicate that yields in the tropics might
fall as much as 30% over the next 50 years".
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this year estimated
that global temperature rise from 1990 to 2100 would be somewhere
between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius, in the absence of policies to
abate climate change.
Two scientists who analysed the IPCC data said last July they
thought the likeliest increase, with a 50% probability, would lie
between 2.4 and 3.8 degrees Celsius. Dr Sheehy said night
temperature changes might damage plants' ability to produce
pollen, and even a small decline in yields could prove
Problems for tea mean exports are at risk
He said: "The population of Asia is expected to increase by 44% in
the next 50 years, and yields must at least match that growth rate
if famine is to be avoided. "Currently more than half the people
in south-east Asia have a calorie intake inadequate for an active
life, and 10 million children die annually from diseases related
to malnutrition." Unep scientists at GRID-Arendal in Norway are
concerned that higher temperatures will make it harder for African
farmers to produce tea and coffee.
They say traditional areas in Uganda and Kenya could no longer be
available, forcing farmers to clear cooler land higher up. This
could affect export earnings, and Unep says there are implications
for Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Unep's director, Dr
Klaus Toepfer, is at the climate change talks in the Moroccan city
of Marrakesh. He said: "I would urge governments and delegates to
remember the billions of people living at or near the poverty line
whose lives face ruin as a result of global warming."
36) DOWN-TO-EARTH PLANS FOR CO2
Nov 9, 2001
As ministers argue over the finer points of the Kyoto Protocol on
climate change in Marrakech this week, some researchers are
considering a radically different solution to the problem. They
are seeking methods of trapping and storing the carbon dioxide
emitted from burning fossil fuels, as a means of postponing
fundamental changes in the way energy is generated and used. Some
of the more futuristic proposals have included injecting dust into
the stratosphere, "greening" the deserts, creating artificial
reefs of genetically engineered algae and building giant insulated
balls of dry ice.
Other suggestions are less eye-catching but not much less
ambitious. Interest in the topic has been stimulated by the US
administration's search for alternative methods of tackling
climate change, following its rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. "We
all believe technology offers great promise significantly to
reduce emissions - especially carbon capture, storage and
sequestration technologies," said President George W. Bush in May.
In 1999, a US Department of Energy report listed potential
benefits from carbon sequestration, ranging from new materials to
improved agricultural practices. The approach was "truly radical
in a technology context", it said.
In July, the DoE announced plans to spend Dollars 25m (Pounds 17m)
on studying methods of capturing carbon gases and storing them in
underground geological formations or in terrestrial vegetation
such as forests. Its goal is to develop sequestration that costs
Dollars 10 or less per tonne of carbon, about 30 times less than
many current options.
Forests gradually absorb carbon from the air. But for most carbon
storage techniques, the carbon dioxide must be captured
immediately after combustion. Techniques are already available:
carbon dioxide can be absorbed from gas streams by contact with
solvents and activated materials or by being passed through
special membranes. Other techniques are under development. One
proposal involves an "oxy- fuel" boiler developed by Praxair, in
New York. The boiler uses a membrane to separate oxygen from other
gases in air. When this burns it produces a concentrated carbon
dioxide exhaust, which is relatively easy to capture.
Some researchers think the carbon dioxide removed in this way
could be recovered and transformed into commercial products, such
as plastics and rubbers, that are inert and long-lived. A 1999
Department of Energy report speculated carbon could find a new
market in ultra-light vehicles made from advanced composite
materials. But most approaches simply involve storing carbon
dioxide. One popular line of research involves injecting carbon
dioxide into oilfields. Work commissioned by the International
Energy Agency estimates that depleted oilfields could store 126bn
tonnes of carbon dioxide. Because injecting carbon dioxide
enhances the recovery of oil - about 70 oilfields worldwide
already use the technique - this may even become a source of
Another possibility is locking up carbon dioxide permanently by
making it react with naturally occuring mineral oxides to form
carbonates, thereby avoiding the need for underground reservoirs.
But according to the IEA, this approach would cost at least
Dollars 62 per tonne of carbon dioxide. Another avenue of research
concerns the ability of carbon dioxide, under certain conditions,
to form stable hydrate molecules. These are similar to the methane
hydrates thought to occur in large quantities under the sea and in
permafrost regions. But estimated costs exceed Dollars 500 per
tonne of carbon dioxide, the IEA says.
Storing carbon in trees and agricultural land is a cheaper and
better-understood approach to sequestration. Attempts to improve
the storage of these land sinks - which currently store about 40
per cent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions - are encouraged
under the Kyoto Protocol. But the issue is controversial, not
least because much of the carbon stored by growing trees will
later be released. In a cautious report issued this year, the
Royal Society warned that planting new forests could even prove
counter-productive. Rising temperatures could kill off the
forests, releasing their carbon to the atmosphere over a
relatively short period.
The uncertainties concerning land sinks were underlined in this
Thursday's edition of Nature, the scientific journal. Researchers
in Germany found that, despite absorbing carbon in the 1990s, land
sinks had a largely neutral effect on carbon emissions in the
1980s. These variations probably arise from changes in foliage,
plant litter and soil microbes. "Nonetheless, there remain
considerable uncertainties as to the magnitude of the sink in
different regions and the contribution of different processes," it
Many of the concerns about storing carbon on land also apply to
proposals for storing carbon dioxide in the deep oceans. In
principle, the deep oceans have an enormous capacity to store
carbon dioxide, because the high alkalinity of seawater means it
is largely stored as carbonate ions. Currently, the oceans remove
about 30 per cent of the annual carbon dioxide emissions produced
by man, according to Csiro, the Australian research organisation.
Researchers seeking to increase the storage capacity of oceans are
examining two main options: injecting carbon dioxide into the deep
sea; and increasing the uptake of carbon by marine phytoplankton
by adding iron and other nutrients to the ocean. But there may be
risks. Last month in Science, the international science journal,
US researchers called for more research on the possible biological
effects of deep-sea carbon dioxide sequestration. Deep-sea animals
may be highly sensitive to environmental changes in carbon dioxide
concentration and acidity, they said.
Another concern stems from the possibility that stored carbon may
suddenly be released. The danger was illustrated in 1986. More
than 1,700 people living near the shores of Lake Nyos in Cameroon
were asphyxiated after a plume of carbon dioxide bubbled up from
the bottom of the lake. Even if stored carbon dioxide leaked from
the ground or ocean without causing immediate damage, its impact
on the climate could be highly damaging. "Unless the prospect of
uncontrolled release of carbon dioxide can be demonstrated to be
unrealistic, sequestration may prove unacceptable," according to
research by the IEA reporting that after 50 or more years, leakage
of only 1 per cent a year could amount to more than 1bn tonnes of
carbon released to the atmosphere annually.
Many environmental campaigners oppose research of this sort. "The
global climate is a highly non-linear system determined by complex
feedback processes and we still have a poor understanding of how
it works. Any attempt deliberately to tinker with this system
could backfire very badly," says Ben Matthews, an environmental
activist. For many environmental campaigners, a technological
"fix" to allow continued consumption of fossil fuels is anathema.
It is analogous, they say, to running down our kidneys to the
state where we have to be permanently attached to a dialysis
machine. At the least, the possibility of dealing with carbon
emissions could distract politicians from the need to improve
energy efficiency and renewable technologies.
There is, indeed, a risk that advanced carbon sequestration
techniques could lull the world into a false sense of security.
But if the climate change problem becomes overwhelming, we shall
need all the help we can get.
ON THE WEB
37) MARRAKESH ACCORDS, MARRAKESH DECLARATION AND ADVANCE TEXTS OF
The declaration in full text, as well as other documents, can now
be downloaded from the UNFCCC secretariat web site at:
38) REPORTS ON THE WORLD CLIMATE SUMMIT
The International Institute for Journalism (IIJ) of the German
Foundation for International Development (DSE), in co-operation
with the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment
Programme-Information Unit for Conventions (UNEP/IUC), has invited
a group of journalists from Africa, Asia and Latin America to
cover the conference. Some of these journalists have already
reported on the COP-5 negotiations in Bonn 1999 and on the COP 6
meetings in The Hague in November 2000 and Bonn in July 2001. The
reports can be found at http://www.dse.de/iij/cop7news.htm.
39) U.S. CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS INCREASED IN 2000
Estimated emissions of carbon dioxide in the U.S. and its
territories increased by 3.1 percent in 2000, according to a
report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration
(EIA). The 3.1 percent growth in emissions in 2000 is the second
highest growth rate for the 1990 to 2000 period, and is well above
the average growth rate of 1.6 percent for the 1990 to 2000 time
frame. The high growth in carbon dioxide emissions can be
attributed to a return to more normal weather, decreased
hydroelectric power generation that was replaced by fossil-fuel
power generation, and strong economic growth, the EIA said.
For more information see:
40) EUROPEAN EXPERT OUTLINES REVOLUTIONARY EU-WIDE EMISSIONS
Terming it "quite revolutionary" for Europe, Matti Vainio
described to a seminar at Resources for the Future the system of
trading carbon dioxide emissions that the European Commission is
proposing to its 15 member countries. Vainio, an economist in the
Commission's Environment Directorate General, spoke on November 5.
For a report on the speech see:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
41) KYOTO: AN EARLY TEST OF LEADERSHIP
17 November 2001
Two significant events took place last Saturday. In Marrakesh,
four years of negotiation culminated in representatives of nearly
160 countries agreeing to binding rules for implementing the Kyoto
Protocol on global warming. In Australia, voters returned the
Howard Government, which opposes ratification of the treaty. In
the days since, that policy has been overtaken by events as key
Australian allies Japan and Canada have been persuaded to ratify
it. On Monday, Japan conceded the folly of the "all or nothing"
argument, now advanced only by Australia, that no progress is
possible without the United States. On Wednesday, the Victorian
Government did its bit by setting a target of a five-year, 15 per
cent cut in electricity use by all state departments and agencies.
Spring Street, unlike Canberra and Washington, has recognised the
urgency of global warming. There is similar recognition in
corporate America too, with such companies as Nike, Ford, DuPont,
IBM, Miller Brewing and Lockheed Martin committing to controlling
greenhouse gas emissions. Just a week ago, the petroleum producer
BP urged Canberra to ratify the treaty, for economic as well as
environmental reasons. "It's up to governments to ratify," said
BP's South Asia and Australasia president, Greg Bourne. "The
quicker people give the lead, the better."
And that is the point. Further delays would render the Kyoto
targets for 2012 meaningless. The Howard Government could well
argue that since the Kyoto conference of 1997 it has won
significant concessions for Australia. Yet the concessions won in
Marrakesh, and in Bonn last July, increase the onus on Australia
to show good faith and ratify the treaty, or face being
ostracised. And Australia cannot afford to be further isolated
internationally. Kyoto may not have been an election issue like
asylum seekers, but this week the latter problem threw up another
reminder that government policy on both issues is untenable.
Tuvalu is the latest tiny island nation, like Nauru and Kiribati
before it, to be approached about taking in boat people for
processing. Only four months ago, however, Australia rebuffed
Tuvalu's request for refuge for its own 11,000 people should
rising seas render many South Pacific islands uninhabitable within
50 years. They have looked in vain to Australia for leadership in
representing the region's interests.
The "leadership in uncertain times" that Prime Minister John
Howard has promised should not exclude the issue of global
warming. Australia's greenhouse emissions have surged to 17 per
cent above 1990 levels - double its Kyoto target - and a one-third
increase from electricity generation has been the chief
contributor. In this context, the Victorian Government has shown
far-sighted leadership. Australia, and indeed the world, can only
hope the Federal Government will soon do the same.
42) WARMING PACT A WIN FOR EUROPEAN LEADERS
November 11, 2001; Page A02
The global warming treaty concluded early yesterday in Morocco by
160 countries marked an important victory for European and
environmental leaders in rallying the international community
behind a document that was rejected earlier this year by President
Bush. The groundbreaking treaty, the product of intense haggling
beginning four years ago in Kyoto, Japan, would require about 40
industrialized countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and
other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent
below 1990 levels by 2012.
The pact also spells out rules for compliance, sets binding
penalties for countries that fail to meet their targets and
creates a trading program that will allow major industrial
polluters to buy carbon emission "credits" from countries with low
pollution levels or that invest heavily in anti-pollution
But in reaching agreement, European Union leaders were obliged to
make last-minute concessions to Russia, Japan, Australia and
Canada that added flexibility to the rules and granted added
economic advantage. Japan insisted that negotiators wait until
after the treaty is formally ratified next year before determining
whether the emission targets are "legally" binding or simply
"politically" binding, as it prefers. Russia extracted a
concession doubling the amount of credits it could claim for its
carbon-absorbing forests and agricultural land from 17.6 million
tons to 33 million tons.
Many of the negotiators, environmental leaders and lawmakers
concede that without the participation of the United States --
which is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions
-- the treaty at best will have only modest impact for the
foreseeable future. The World Wildlife Fund and others have
estimated that the accord's effectiveness will be diminished by at
least half because of the concessions granted and the withdrawal
of the United States from the treaty.
"Without U.S. participation and with credits being granted for
'business as usual,' I think the reductions you get off the
baseline are very small," said Eileen Claussen, president of the
Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Whatever short-term
competitive advantage may result from the United States' rejection
of Kyoto will be far outweighed in the long term by the harmful
economic and environmental consequences of inaction."
Bush said in March that the treaty would impose too harsh a burden
on U.S. industries and utilities that use large quantities of
coal. He also said it was unfair that the treaty would exempt
developing countries, including China and India, from the
mandatory emissions targets. Since then, the United States has
essentially gone its own way, contemplating a number of voluntary
measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions but putting forward
little. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Cabinet-level
review of alternatives to the Kyoto protocol has been largely put
on hold. Despite repeated goading by Republican and Democratic
lawmakers to return to the international bargaining table, the
U.S. delegation showed up for the Marrakesh conference beginning
two weeks ago with nothing to offer.
"The big question now is how we bring the United States into the
biggest international effort against the greenhouse effect," said
Olivier Deleuze, Belgium's environment secretary and the head of
the European delegation. Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state
for global affairs, said recently that the United States was
looking for a global solution to climate change, one that would be
a "tapestry" of national and regional measures rather than the
single worldwide system provided by the Kyoto protocol.
Yesterday, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush "agrees
with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions" and "remains
committed to addressing the long-term issue of climate change with
a science-based approach that uses new technology to protect our
environment, consumers and global economy." But some argue it will
be harder for Bush to continue charting his own course on global
warming while insisting that U.S. allies support the war on
terrorism and continued U.S. bombing of Afghanistan.
"After the events of September 11th, if there is any reason for
the United States to call for international, global approaches,
[it should also] join a global approach to the existing global
problem of climate change," said Dutch Environment Minister Jan
Pronk. Claussen said Congress may have to provide leadership on
global warming in the absence of White House action. Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Jeffords
(I-Vt.) is sponsoring legislation to force sharp reductions in
carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and Senate Majority
Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) is assembling an energy package
that will have a strong emphasis on global warming. But action on
those measures is unlikely until early next year.
"Obviously, the United States is the biggest contributor to the
problem, and we owe it to the world" to take part in the treaty, a
senior Senate Democratic aide said yesterday. "I think it's naive
for us to think we can forever avoid participating in an
international regime on climate change."
43) LINK ENERGY POLICY AND CLIMATE ISSUES
By Lloyd Axworthy
The potential contradiction between Canada's position on energy
development and climate change needs to be addressed sooner rather
than later. On the one hand, the federal and provincial
governments are scrambling to take advantage of the United States'
increasing demand for energy, including oil and gas, stated so
clearly in the Bush administration's new national energy policy
report. At the same time, the federal government has committed
Canada to ratifying the Kyoto protocol and meeting the challenge
of reducing its annual greenhouse gas emissions to an average of 6
per cent below our 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
Overcoming these conflicting policy priorities requires weaving
action on climate change into any continental energy strategy
developed with Mexico and the United States. Components of this
strategy should include the use of renewable energy, promotion of
energy efficiency and the development of a continental emissions
trading system. Only a North American energy strategy that
incorporates effective measures to implement these components
should be accepted by Canada.
Integrating climate change issues into a continental energy
strategy would not only aid Canada in meeting its Kyoto target, it
will also re-engage the United States on this critical issue.
Although it has rejected the Kyoto protocol, the U.S. committed
itself to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when it
ratified the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate
Change under former president George Bush Sr.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation has already provided
an avenue for beginning this process. At its June meeting in
Guadalajara, the commission recommended pursuing market-based
approaches to promote carbon sequestration, energy efficiency and
renewable energy that could ultimately lead to the development of
a North American emissions trading regime. With such a trading
system in place, Canada would be able to participate in a
continental emissions market, as well as the larger-scale trading
regime envisioned under the Kyoto protocol.
The need for an integrated energy policy that addresses climate
change was one of the recommendations of the recent report of the
Manitoba Climate Change Task Force. As chair of this task force, I
heard from a variety of Manitobans about the potential impacts of
climate change and the need to implement mitigation measures,
identify adaptation strategies and engage the public on the issue.
The opportunities available to Manitobans and Canadians as we
enter a new economy based on clean renewable energy became clear
through the work of this task force. Addressing climate change
will enable us to build our expertise in fuel cell and other
energy technologies, and expand the use of existing renewable
energy resources, such as hydroelectricity, biofuels and wind. The
establishment of a continental emissions trading system would
increase demand for Canadian energy from these sources, providing
a premium to clean energy producers.
Action on climate change will also address the emerging global
imperative for human security that has been underscored by the
events of Sept. 11. Human security in North America can only be
enhanced by limiting our dependence on imported fossil fuels,
increasing the self-reliance that will come through encouraging
energy conservation and the development of our renewable energy
resources. We also know that the impacts of climate change will
produce greater instability, poverty and numbers of environmental
refugees Ñ effects that create fertile ground for the growth of
fanaticism. A concerted international effort to reduce greenhouse
gases can help to avoid some of these frightening scenarios and
make our world a safer place.
To meet the challenge of climate change, governments in Canada
must move beyond promises and ongoing consultations to the
immediate development of a comprehensive action plan. The Kyoto
protocol must be ratified following a swift but effective national
consultation process that emphasizes provincial-territorial-
federal co-operation and consensus building. Efforts to develop a
national and international emissions trading system need to be
accelerated. As one of the key jurisdictions responsible for
ensuring the implementation of Canada's action plan, provincial
governments must participate by taking the lead in developing
Canada's response to climate change.
Federal, provincial and territorial energy and environment
ministers had an opportunity to begin this process when they
gathered in Winnipeg on Sept. 24. They must now continue their
commitment to taking decisive, effective action on climate change
and facilitate its integration into a continental energy strategy.
They must now demonstrate that Canadians are able to take
advantage of the opportunities and reduce the risks associated
with climate change.
Lloyd Axworthy is former foreign affairs minister of Canada. He is
currently director of the Liu Centre for the Study of Global
Issues at the University of British Columbia.
44) MAKE RATIFICATION NEXT STEP FOR APPROVED KYOTO PROTOCOL
11 November 2001
The Seventh Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework
Convention on Climate Change (COP7) in Morocco has adopted the
ground rules for administering the Kyoto Protocol. After difficult
negotiations, the agreement was attained four years after the
adoption of the protocol. The Kyoto Protocol established goals for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions for each participating country.
To achieve their targets, the countries taking part in the accord
can combine their actual reduction of consumption of fossil fuels
with trading among themselves in credits for emission restraint
and calculation of carbon dioxide absorbed by forests,called
Administration of the protocol requires an understanding of how
the carbon sink factor is calculated. The Kyoto Protocol was
concluded to make the arrangements legally binding. The countries
that are party to the accord now must have it ratified by their
respective legislative bodies. The final accord was reached in
Morocco by getting beyond the problem created by the United States
having decided to opt out of the Kyoto Protocol. The result is a
product of international cooperation demonstrated in the years of
The defining element of the Kyoto Protocol is that it has the
potential to transform modern societies away from being wasters of
energy. People will talk about energy policy, designs for electric
appliances and individual lifestyles in the context of the Kyoto
Protocol. But we cannot simply rejoice. Apart from the flaw of not
having U.S. participation, the Kyoto Protocol is heavily dependent
upon carbon dioxide absorption by forests as a result of
compromises among participating nations to accept the agreement.
As a result, the effectiveness of the accord is considerably
The Kyoto Protocol only requires developed nations to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Even if those countries achieve their
emission-reduction targets, total greenhouse gas emissions,
including those of developing nations, will increase. Even though
the quantity of emission by the developing nations is likely to
overtake that of the developed nations in 10 years, there is as
yet no prospect of developing nations required to join the
regulation of their emissions.
Even with such unresolved problems, though, all effort should be
made to bring the protocol into effect to curb greenhouse gas
emissions. Developed nations could then press the United States
and developing nations to join them if they can meet their
emissions obligations. Japan cannot afford to be complacent. If
Japan expects to ratify the Kyoto Protocol next year, it will need
new legislation to mandatory cut emissions. Many business leaders
oppose ratification without U.S. involvement. That may explain why
nothing has been done to implement the protocol, leaving open the
important question of how business will be involved in the
international trade in emissions permits.
International negotiation has brought us to a final accord. If the
Japanese government and business resist much longer, they must
misread the intent of adoption of the protocol, miss the
opportunity for involvement in emission permit transactions or be
left behind in the market for environmental business
We urge the government to press the United States to join other
developed nations in regulating the output of greenhouse gas. The
United States position is that it is better to develop efficient
environmental-protection technology in the long run rather than to
attain short-term emissions targets. Joint development of such
technology will also be beneficial to Japan and will pave the way
for the United States' return to the fold.
The Environmental Summit is to be held next September, 10 years
after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Japan should do all
it can to ensure that the summit will also include a ceremony to
mark the start of enforcement of the Kyoto Protocol.
45) ENERGY CONSERVATION: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME AGAIN
November 19, 2001
By Robert Kuttner
Gasoline prices are down, largely because of the recession, but
enjoy the bargain while you can. The next major economic shock
could well be an energy crisis. Some 21% of U.S. oil consumption
comes from the Middle East. If the war in Afghanistan drags on or
widens, the Middle East could become more unstable and with it the
short-run supply of oil. The Saudis have been reluctant to
cooperate fully with U.S. intelligence, in part for fear of
terrorist reprisals against their pipelines and refineries. Energy
production and distribution are also vulnerable to the risk of
further terrorist attacks at home. This is a crisis the country
could face in the months ahead.
But a far more serious energy problem looms just beyond the
horizon--the dwindling of worldwide oil reserves. From 1980 to
1990, new discoveries increased world petroleum reserves by over
60%. From 1990 to 2000, however, reserves increased by just 4%. A
new book, Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, by the
oil geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes, calculates that world oil
production will peak sometime in this decade and then, slowly and
Deffeyes is no tree-hugger. At Shell Oil's research facilities in
the 1960s, he worked with the famed geologist M. King Hubbert, the
man who correctly forecast, in 1956, that U.S. domestic oil
production would peak in the early 1970s. Today, the U.S. produces
just 38% of the oil it consumes. Deffeyes, using Hubbert's
methodology, shows that the trajectory of world reserves is
closely following the pattern of U.S. discovery and depletion,
with just a few decades' lag. Drilling deeper, in more remote
locations, and with more elaborate technologies won't tap reserves
that don't exist.
Short-term events and long-term prospects both cry out for a very
different energy policy from the one being proposed by the Bush
Administration: a policy that emphasizes conservation and a shift
to renewable sources of power. Unfortunately, the Bush
Administration's energy policy stresses new drilling rather than
technology and conservation. The entire reserves in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge, where Bush wants to drill, would yield
only about 2% of U.S. annual consumption at its peak output in
2027, and hardly make a dent in total energy needs.
A quarter of a century ago, during the first U.S. energy crisis, a
visionary named Amory Lovins burst upon the national scene with an
article in Foreign Affairs, making the brilliantly simple
observation that the cheapest source of "new" energy is to use
less of it. If you consume one less barrel of oil, that's one less
barrel you need to drill for. (Not surprisingly, oil companies
were less than enthusiastic.) Lovins' other big idea was that
"soft" energy--renewable and decentralized sources such as solar
power--was both more reliable and less damaging to the natural
environment than extracted carbon-based fuels.
Lovins hasn't gone away. Today, his Rocky Mountain Institute,
based in Snowmass, Colo., consults for large corporations that
share his insight that using less energy is the most efficient way
of saving on energy bills. Lovins also invokes the current war
emergency to promote decentralized and renewable modes of power,
as well as the need to develop more energy-efficient technologies
to stretch the supply of oil. Toyota Motor Corp.'s (TM ) midsize
Prius car already offers 48 miles per gallon, using a self-
charging hybrid gas-electric engine. Lovins is developing a
variant of Prius technology that gets 100 mpg.
CRYING WOLF? The Administration likewise has had little interest
in the global-warming problem. But reducing worldwide oil
consumption for the sake of the environment also would reduce our
dependence on imported oil and give scientists more time to
develop practical alternatives before the oil ran out.
America made a false start at pursuing a different energy policy
in the mid-1970s, using regulations, subsidies, and tax incentives
to promote conservation and alternative fuels. But the energy
crisis of that era was the artificial result of OPEC's temporary
manipulation of oil prices. When oil prices receded after the
1980-81 recession, America returned to its love affair with gas-
guzzling cars. Conservationists seemed like the boy who cried
Now, however, we face a real wolf. The world is truly running out
of oil, and we face a political adversary far more serious than
OPEC. The oil industry has never had a better friend than the Bush
Administration. But George W. Bush needs to remember that he is
now America's commander-in-chief, not Big Oil's. Policies that
seem utopian and improbable suddenly look like common sense when
national security demands them.
America's energy policy needs to tilt away from oil and in favor
of conservation, new technology, and domestic renewables. The time
to act is now, before the next wave of gas lines and rationing is
Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and author of
Everything for Sale.
46) QUITE A WEEK FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
November 17, 2001
While the eyes of the world have ranged from the crash in New York
to the fall of Kabul this week, a story which in other times would
have warranted plenty of attention has been barely noticed. Last
weekend in Marrakesh, final negotiations were completed on the
Kyoto Protocol on climate change, opening the way to ratification
of the treaty in over 180 countries. With the isolated exception
of the United States, the world has now agreed the most complex
environmental treaty ever and the first which is legally binding.
While environmentalists rightly have some reservations, the bigger
point is that the treaty marks unprecedented global cooperation to
face a common threat. A legal framework has been put in place
which is likely to last for decades, with the details renegotiated
every five years, and with the ambitious goal of ultimately
achieving the kinds of deep cuts of up to 80% in emissions that
are considered necessary.
As if that were not enough, this week also saw the successful
completion of the World Trade Organisation's meeting in Doha, with
the launch of a new round of trade talks. In addition, speaking in
New York yesterday, Gordon Brown threw down the gauntlet to the
international community ahead of the IMF-World Bank meetings in
Ottawa this weekend, calling for a doubling of foreign aid to meet
the 2015 development targets on reducing poverty. This is the kind
of ambitious antidote that is needed to prevent developed
countries from using global economic slow-down as an excuse to
retreat from international responsibilities.
So this was a remarkable week in the history of global governance.
It proved wrong the doomsayers who argued after the failures in
Seattle in 1998 and the Hague in 1999 that the pace of
globalisation had outstripped the international institutions'
ability to respond, let alone to manage it. Admittedly, the
negotiation process has been less than perfect, with stories of
bullying and arm-twisting at both Doha and Marrakesh. Yet what was
most striking this week was that the international institutions
have been able to prove themselves responsive to public
expectation and capable of corralling countries to negotiate and
make agreements. Meanwhile, the timing and the venue chosen by Mr
Brown to launch his new challenge were apt: in the aftermath of
September 11, the moral agenda of an inclusive globalisation has
also become a matter of long-term security.
47) COMMENT: CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
17th November 2001
CLIMATE change is probably the biggest environmental threat facing
the human race. Even in the best case, we will see more
unpredictable weather and rising seas, leading to floods, drought,
failed harvests, the spread of disease and whole species being
wiped out. In the worst case, the Earth's climate will be thrown
so far out of balance that it will flip to a new state. And as
island nations disappear beneath the waves, and food and water
shortages become commonplace, we can reflect that it is all our
The international scientific consensus is that it is very likely
that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year
since global thermometer measurements began in 1861, and that the
rate of warming in the 20th century has been much greater than in
any of the previous nine centuries.
More certainly, we know that we have just had the warmest October
since records began in 1659. In Scotland last month, swifts turned
up in Fife instead of heading to Africa from their home in the
Mediterranean. The latest predictions are that emissions of
greenhouse gases will result in a rise in global temperature of
between 1.4 and 5.8C by 2100, depending on how good we become at
reducing those emissions. But climate change is not just about the
world getting warmer - in fact it may even mean the opposite for
Scotland, if predictions of an end to the Gulf Stream prove to be
The Gulf Stream has stopped in the past - during the ice ages -
and it seems this can happen over just a few decades. The best
predictions so far suggest that Scotland will become much wetter
in the west, but the east may see localised water shortages.
Warmer summers will be accompanied by more storms, droughts,
floods, heatwaves and more variable winters.
These changes spell trouble for wildlife and agriculture, and
increased threats to human settlements. In Scotland, rising sea
levels will cause trouble for towns along the Clyde, Forth and
Tay, with more frequent and more severe floods. Changes in tides
will cause erosion, shifting beaches and mudflats. Where natural
vegetation is unable to survive, increased rainfall may result in
soil erosion, while an increase in acidity in the oceans may
affect the marine food chain.
And if you think asylum seekers are controversial now, wait until
hundreds of millions of people are displaced by the rising seas
and famine caused by climate chaos. Limiting climate change to the
least bad of the predicted effects is still likely to result in
significant changes in the way we live, and requires us to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions urgently from all sectors of life. We are
committed to meeting modest climate targets in the UK, but for the
future we need to aim for at least 60 per cent cuts by 2050 to
prevent the most dangerous climate changes. The longer we delay
the harder it will be to make a difference and the more likely
will be the worst consequences of climate change.
Dr Richard Dixon is head of Research with Friends of the Earth
48) PUNXSUTAWNEY PROTOCOL
November 14, 2001
By Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow, Competitive Enterprise
Institute & counsel, Cooler Heads Coalition.
Establishment-press reporting of Kyoto "global warming" treaty
negotiations would embarrass even Bill Murray's character in the
movie Groundhog Day. They laughably trumpet the same
nonachievement, conference after conference. Consider last week's
front-page, above-the-fold Washington Post story, the introductory
paragraph to which read, "[M]ore than 160 countries, including
Great Britain, Japan and Russia, reached agreement late last night
on a groundbreaking climate control treaty setting mandatory
targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions" ("160 Nations Agree
to Warming Pact," November 10, 2001).
Such promotion is absurd given what actually transpired. And of
course, it also followed some now also obligatory disparaging of
the U.S. stance in the talks at issue, in this case the "Seventh
Session of the Conference of the Parties," COP-7, in Marrakesh.
Does all of this sound familiar?
Consider these headlines: "Historic Global Warming Pact Reached"
(Associated Press, December 11, 1997, on the original Kyoto
session) and "Nations Reach Landmark Global Warming Pact" (St.
Louis Post-Dispatch, December 11, 1997); or this summer's "World
Agrees on Climate Pact" (Chicago Tribune, July 24, 2001, on COP-6)
and "Nations reach a climate accord" (New York Times, July 25,
Sounds like it might be time to stop agreeing and start ratifying.
Yet only one covered country has chosen to submit ratification lo
these four years. That is Romania, in a clear move to kiss up to
the EU it desperately seeks to join. The trouble is that no nation
can yet be sure of what it would be getting itself into; they're
merely seeing a lot of troubling hints. These propagandistic
headlines are therefore pure fiction. Any supposed "agreement" is
in truth far from that: specifics remain undrafted, let alone
agreed upon, even before individual countries must ratify them.
This one Post lead provides more factual errors, masquerading as
editorial bias, than any news story should reasonably contain in
its entirety. Consider the subhead's derogation, "U.S. Was on
Sidelines in Morocco Talks." This, regrettably, is not true.
Though claiming it will not be bound by the Kyoto Protocol, the
U.S. nonetheless refuses to rescind its valid signature on the
document - signaling, at best, continued engagement and a plea for
less oppressive terms. At worst, it indicates that ratification
may remain a possibility.
The U.S. sent a full delegation to Marrakesh, participated in key
discussions, and, as anyone making even one inquiry would know,
advocated longstanding negotiating positions through allied
delegations. For example (and environmentalist groups fumed about
this throughout the conference, even if it doesn't suit the
reporting tastes of the Post), Canadian delegates promoted U.S.
ideas for a "clean development mechanism" whereby covered
countries receive some credit for energy projects developed
Further, even proponents of Kyoto assert that assuming their
hypothesis of man's impact on the climate is true, this agreement
- if fully and perfectly implemented - would affect temperatures
so slightly as not to be measurable (estimated at a six-year delay
of a three-one-hundredths of a degree increase). Would such a deal
represent, to any reasonable mind, "climate control"? Or does it
merely signify a desperately-sought affirmation of the belief -
long advocated, through theories running the gamut from a "man-
made ice age" to global warming - that too many people exist who
are "killing the planet"?
Regardless, the Post and other establishment press seem to
advocate - or fall for - the routine charade of "groundbreaking
agreement." Anyone attending these conferences knows that whatever
olio can be cobbled at the eleventh hour is hailed as a
groundbreaking achievement closing the deal, etc., details to be
hammered out later. Year in and year out, one negotiating session
follows another. One "climate agreement" is reported after
another, though all that's accomplished is a slight narrowing of
terms. Given the actual treaty language's persistent vagaries, any
implementable, enforceable "agreement" remains far off.
In truth, the Kyoto Protocol set forth broad language binding 38
countries to reduce particular "greenhouse gas" (GHG) emissions,
by differing percentages each, by dates certain. It called for
emission-credit-trading regimes to enable this even though,
rhetoric notwithstanding, these remain undefined. It called for
international economic sanctions, which are still unstated. So
far, all they've agreed to for cases of noncompliance is a more
restrictive emission level for the promised, and as-yet-unagreed-
upon, "next compliance period." The key question - "Or what?" -
now highlights the folly of this anti-growth measure.
Negotiations in The Hague in November 2000 made clear that either
our negotiating partners in bad faith sought to change the terms
of the agreement in mid-course - or there never was agreement.
There, our European allies insisted that when, for instance,
Protocol Article 3 says GHG sinks "shall be used to meet the
commitments under this article" ("sinks" are forestry and land-
management practices sucking greenhouse gases from the
atmosphere), they meant, "but not very much."
The U.S. clearly intended "to the extent we are able to reduce
GHGs through that method." No EU flexibility, given that this
would mitigate U.S. pain - therefore, no deal. We "dropped out."
And most of such questions remain unanswered. As still-scarce
details take form, Kyoto is increasingly obviously designed to
fail (the particular charade of such dysfunction requiring another
essay entirely). Greens and their cheerleaders might find a more
appropriate announcement in Chevy Chase's classic Saturday Night
Live offering: "This just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is
still valiantly holding on in his fight to remain dead
49) KYOTO, BY WAY OF MARRAKECH
The Japan Times
Nov. 13, 2001
Two weeks of intense negotiations have yielded a "rule book" for
implementing the Kyoto Protocol to combat global warming. The
agreement will not satisfy hard-nosed environmentalists, but it
represents an important first step toward controlling the
greenhouse gases that are exacting a terrific toll on the Earth's
ecology. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol calls on about 40 industrial
countries to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that have been
blamed for raising the Earth's temperature. The accord assigns
each country a target and sets an average 5.2 percent emission
reduction from 1990 levels that must be achieved by 2012.
Countries can use "carbon sinks" -- forests and farmlands that
absorb carbon dioxide -- to offset some of their emissions. Yet
more credits can be earned by helping developing countries cut
their carbon dioxide emissions. And countries can trade emissions
-- they can buy and sell the right to pollute.
Figuring out how that scheme would work has been difficult.
Previous meetings have broken up in rancor. Undaunted,
representatives from 165 countries met in Marrakech, Morocco, over
the last two weeks to hammer out the legal rules that will govern
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there were concerns
that agreement would once again prove elusive, they managed to
reach a deal at the last hour.
The final text is a lengthy and complicated document. Of
particular importance is the agreement that signatories will face
mandatory punishment if they fail to meet their emission targets.
This provision gives the Kyoto Protocol its teeth. While some
environmentalists argue that various components of the treaty --
the use of carbon sinks, the emissions trading -- are mere
loopholes, the negotiations have yielded a document with legally
enforceable standards. The final agreement may not cause a large
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but it will lead to a
reduction. In other words, it is an important first step.
There is one more step in the process, however. The document does
not go into force until it has been ratified by 55 countries,
among them the polluters responsible for 55 percent of global
greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. That is expected to occur next
year. In fact, almost every industrial country will have to ratify
the accord because the United States, the biggest single source of
greenhouse gases -- about a quarter of the total -- has opted out
of the protocol. Although the U.S. helped negotiate the agreement,
President George W. Bush has withdrawn his country from the
agreement and has said his administration will set up its own plan
Mr. Bush has three objections to the treaty. First, he believes
that it will put too great a burden on the U.S. economy. As the
U.S. enters into a recession, that argument is sounding more
persuasive. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 3.1 percent
last year, and have grown by 14 percent since 1990. Cutting U.S.
emissions to levels that would comply with the protocol would
extract a huge cost. Second, Mr. Bush objects to the exemption of
developing countries, such as India and China, from the treaty
provisions. While those countries do not emit as much greenhouse
gas per capita as developed economies, the size of their
populations means that their gross emissions will soon be as large
as those of developed nations. Finally, he does not like the
mandatory nature of the treaty. He wants compliance to be
voluntary and he wants national schemes to reflect particular
national conditions, rather than any single global plan.
Mr. Bush's concerns are understandable, but U.S. actions to date
make it difficult to sympathize with his position. Washington has
said that it will not return to the Kyoto Protocol; instead it
will take independent action to fight global warning. The Bush
administration has promised to reveal the specifics of that plan,
but it has not done so, nor has it said when that would occur.
Moreover, every country will be pressed to comply with the
agreement. Japan has agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by
6 percent from the 1990 level, but they have grown by 17 percent
since 1990. The government plans to submit several bills to next
year's ordinary session of the Diet to lay the groundwork for
Japan's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the end of 2002.
Like the U.S. government, many Japanese businesses and business
groups object to the Kyoto burdens. Others see them as an
opportunity to create new competitive advantages. In an
increasingly environmentally conscious market, companies that
provide those products will have a leg up on the competition. That
is the way to look at the Kyoto "burdens" -- if the prospect of
global warming, changing weather patterns and resulting large
shifts in global economic behavior is not incentive enough.
50) GLOBAL WARMING 'WILL LEAVE NO ONE UNTOUCHED'
Business Day (South Africa)
Nov 14, 2001
Senior Political Correspondent GLOBAL warming, even the most
marginal of environmentalists say, is by far one of the most
burning issues of this age. It is an issue that will leave no one
untouched, suggests environmental affairs minister Valli Moosa. In
fact, so catastrophic are the consequences, climatologists tell
us, that unless we all take up the cudgels now, the world is
doomed. It is the one reason the SA government wanted to make
sure, Moosa says, an agreement was reached last weekend in
Morocco. Until Morocco, world nations have been trying for the
past four years to reach consensus on the Kyoto Protocol, an
agreement that seeks to ensure that industrialised countries
especially, reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to 5,2% below
their 1990 levels by the year 2012.
The "good thing", Moosa says, is that the meeting managed to amass
the 55% of nations required for the agreement to stand. If the
agreement were not signed, he says, there would be "scepticism"
about the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, or Earth
Summit, to be held in Johannesburg next year.
Those in the know insist global warming is not the same thing as
air pollution. All societies live on energy, be it from coal, wood
or a host of other fuels. The gases that industry emits into the
atmosphere when burning such energy sources as coal or fuels -
chief among those gases being carbon dioxide - is what is harmful
to the environment. Worsening the situation is that as societies
get more industrialised, they use more and more energy. And the
more affluent they become, the more energy they use. The world's
richest nation, the US, for example, is said to be responsible for
25% of the world's emissions.
Africa, in the meantime, is said to be responsible for only 3%. It
is claimed that already the world has begun to see very strange
and confusing weather patterns as a result of the impact of these
gas emissions. The climate has never been as bizarre, we are told.
It is all getting warmer. Where there was drought, experts say,
there is more drought. Places used to cold in winter are now
getting scorching sunlight. And the worst is yet to come. Areas
used to floods will get more of those, together with an
exponential increase in the ills that come with those floods, such
as malaria. Countries relying heavily on agriculture may soon find
themselves with very little or no harvest, and there are no prizes
for guessing the impact of that on the GDP of those countries. As
for the effect on subsistence farmers and scores of rural people
who mostly rely on their own harvest for a living, the
consequences are too ghastly to contemplate.
Alarmist? "No", says an executive whose company has joined forces
with government to deal with global warming and was part of the SA
government's delegation to Morocco, "it's the truth. "Actually, we
are already feeling it. You've seen worse than expected floods in
Mozambique, severe drought in the Sudan". Poor nations are
undoubtedly the most vulnerable. They are the ones will small
budgets for health, the ones less capable of dealing with any
disaster, and experiencing food insecurity. During his election
campaign last year, US President George Bush promised his
commitment to the cause. Alas, it now appears that all he wanted
to achieve was to woo the environmental vote.
In March, the US government pulled out of the Kyoto agreement,
reportedly due to pressure from big business who funded his
election campaign. Some US businesses claim Kyoto provisions will
be too expensive and therefore costly to industrialised nations.
Last weekend's "breakthrough" agreement on the Kyoto Protocol,
therefore, was reached without the US. The agreement reached in
Morocco by government negotiators, still has to be ratified by
their respective countries. Until then, the issue is still far
from over. But even if the countries ratify the agreement, there
is still the issue of ensuring compliance. Many leading nations
have already indicated that their "sovereignty" cannot be tampered
with by anyone. It therefore remains to be seen whether the
"restorative", as opposed to "punitive" measures that were agreed
to at the weekend, will deliver the desired result.
Moosa concurs that global warming, if it is to be tackled
effectively, has to go beyond being the exclusive preserve of the
elite who meet once in a while speaking their so-often-unpalatable
mumbo-jumbo. Moosa agrees, too, that in many countries like SA,
where environmental awareness has in most cases never gone beyond
the need to ensure one picks up the litter, every attempt has to
be made to both demystify and popularise the politics of the
As the host government for next year's Earth Summit, Moosa says,
SA will try its best to signal a new beginning and ensure that the
global warning issue is taken seriously. Not only for the summit,
but forever thereafter.
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
New York, NY
Tel: + 1 (212) 673-1818
Fax: + 1 (309) 419-8814
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