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N American nations agree to push for green fund to cut carbon emissions


Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, Mexico’s President Calderon and U.S. President Obama (L-R) pose for pictures after the North American Leaders’ Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, August 10, 2009. The summit concluded here on Monday.

N American nations agree to push for green fund to cut carbon emissions

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — The three North American nations have agreed to push for a green fund to reward nations that cut carbon emissions, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon said on Monday at a press conference in Guadalajara that marks the end of two days of meeting in the western Mexico city.

“We agreed a green fund and to work together to achieve a climate change agreement in Copenhagen,” Calderon said. Denmark’s capital Copenhagen will host the talks to find a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol on climate change at the end of the year.

Calderon had proposed the green fund scheme at the Major Nations Climate Conference held in southern Mexican state Morelos in June. All nations would pay into the fund, but poorer nations who reduced carbon emissions would be able to withdraw more than they put in.


Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, U.S. President Obama and Mexico’s President Calderon (L-R) leave after a joint news conference at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, August 10, 2009. The summit concluded here on Monday.

“We are also working to boost our carbon bonds markets with the goal of creating an international carbon bond market,” he said.

Carbon bonds are a private sector version of the green fund, where individuals, companies and non-government organizations who can reduce emissions sell the right to make emissions to richer carbon emitters.

Speaking at the same meeting, Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, said that the three leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada had agreed that it is vital to confront climate change.

“We know that the cost of acting will be high, but the cost our people and future generations will have to pay for inaction will be incalculably more,” he said.

Calderon said the nations had agreed to make progress on green energy and technology.


Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, Mexico’s President Calderon and U.S. President Obama (L-R) pose for pictures after the North American Leaders’ Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, August 10, 2009.

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UN’s Ban seeks strong climate pact, fears sea rise


UN’s Ban seeks strong climate pact, fears sea rise

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GENEVA – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for swifter work on a climate treaty, saying inaction could spell economic disaster and a rise in sea levels of up to 2 metres (6.5 ft) by 2100.

Ban said greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, were still rising fast. “Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss,” he said.

“We cannot afford limited progress. We need rapid progress,” he told a 155-nation climate conference in Geneva of negotiations on a new United Nations deal to combat global warming that is due to be agreed in December in Copenhagen.

“Climate change could spell widespread economic disaster,” Ban said, urging action to promote greener growth.

“By the end of this century, sea levels may rise between half a metre and two metres,” he said. That would threaten small island states, river deltas and cities such as Tokyo, New Orleans or Shanghai, he said.

His sea level projection is above the range of 18 to 59 cms (7-24 inches) given in 2007 by the U.N.’s own panel of experts. Their estimates did not include the possibility of an accelerated melt of vast ice sheets in Antarctica or Greenland.

Just back from a trip to see thinning Arctic sea ice off Norway, Ban said he hoped a summit of world leaders he will host in New York on Sept. 22 would give a new push to Copenhagen.

“I am really trying to raise a sense of urgency,” he told a news conference after speaking to an audience including about 20 leaders, mostly of developing nations such as Tanzania, Bangladesh and Mozambique, and ministers from up to 80 nations.

He reiterated calls for developed nations to agree “more ambitious” targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 than promised so far and more aid. Rich nations want clearer pledges from the poor that they will slow rising emissions.

The head of the U.S. delegation, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Jane Lubchenco, highlighted the U.S. government’s commitment to the Copenhagen process.

“The United States is working actively towards a successful agreement, through both ambitious domestic actions and international cooperation,” she said in a speech.


“China faces enormous tasks in developing its economy, eradicating poverty and improving people’s livelihood, but it still attaches great importance to climate change,” Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said in a speech.

The Geneva Aug. 31-Sept. 4 conference, gathering about 1,500 delegates, also formally approved a new system to improve monitoring and early warning systems about the climate to help everyone from farmers to investors in renewable energies.

Delegates said the “Global Framework for Climate Services” would mainly help developing nations adapt to changes such as more floods, wildfires, droughts, rising seas or more disease.

Many Asian farmers, for instance, want to know how a projected thaw of Himalayan glaciers will disrupt water flows in rivers. Investors in wind farms can benefit from information on future wind patterns, rather than historical data.

The U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) would set up a “task force” of advisers within four months who would then have a year to report back with proposals about how it would work in sectors such as health, energy and agriculture.

Tanzania’s Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein said the impact of disasters, such as droughts or floods, could be averted with better information. He also said the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro would vanish in coming decades at current rates.

The Geneva talks are the third world climate conference. Meetings in 1979 and 1990 helped pave the way to a U.N. Climate Panel and a U.N. 1992 Climate Convention.

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G8 eyes climate as summit includes emerging powers


G8 eyes climate as summit includes emerging powers

L’AQUILA, Italy (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s richest nations and major developing powers meet on Thursday to seek common ground on global warming and international trade, with the poorer countries seeking concessions.

U.S. President Barack Obama will chair the climate discussions, but hopes of agreeing ambitious goals have faded after China and India rejected demands to halve the emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

The talks come on the second of a three-day Group of Eight summit, with discussions broadened to include the heads of new economic powerhouses in recognition that the world’s problems cannot no longer be dealt with by an elite few.

The fragile state of the global economy dominated the first day of the annual G8 summit, with the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia acknowledging that were still significant risks to financial stability.

They also agreed to try to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Farenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels and pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 and 80 percent by mid-century.

“I hope we can agree the 2 degrees Celsius target with all the countries around the table today,” said Britain’s Gordon Brown shortly before Thursday’s talks were due to begin.

The 17-member Major Economies Forum (MEF), which groups the G8 plus big developing nations, also looks set to embrace the 2 Celsius goal on Thursday, but is balking at further commitments ahead of a decisive U.N. climate conference in December.”Tthere is a reasonable chance of achieving consensus in the MEF on the 2 degree principle but it is not realistic to expect agreement today on emissions targets,” said one G8 source.

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