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Natural Awakenings

Huge News: World Unites for Global Warming Treaty

Feb 01, 2008 03:00AM

The people have spoken and put their governments on notice—in the fight against global warming, we’ll not be spectators. Developing countries have put industrialized nations on notice in declaring that “if you’re not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us [and] please get out of the way.”

This stunning reversal of roles evident at the Bali Climate Change Summit in late 2007 set the stage for agreement by the 180 countries present to enter into accelerated negotiations as they ramp up to sign a new treaty to confront global warming. They aim to have the 2009 treaty take over in 2013 when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires.

The forward-thinking road map sets out guidelines for working on issues dear to developing countries, collectively known as “the G-77 plus China.” It also has Europe’s support. Foremost among these nations’ requirements are widespread adaptation, including an 80 to 95 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by industrial countries, transfer of green technologies and help in establishing necessary financial arrangements. To borrow the operative word from Philip Clapp, deputy managing director of Pew Environment Group based in Washington, the United States, after being roundly booed for its public recalcitrance, “caved!” to the will of the world.

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