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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Bonn Climate Conference

Bonn Climate Conference

Date : 27th July 2001, Source : WWF

Germany - July 2001. A conference that will go down in history as the time when countries gathered together in unison to decide on positive action on global warming. The hard fought fight was won over four days and a last all-nighter despite opposition from the fossil fuel and nuclear industries and the US President.

180 countries attended the talks aimed at moving forward with the Kyoto Protocol. During these talks, Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia and the United States and OPEC (Oil Producing Countries) tried to either stall the talks or water them down.

Under Kyoto, industrialized nations have to reduce their combined emissions of global warming gases 5.2 per cent below the 1990 levels in the period 2008-2012. By using "sinks" (explained later) countries can weaken their emission reduction targets. WWF estimates that taking sinks allowances into account lowers the 5.2 per cent reduction to around 1.8 per cent. Greenpeace estimated on 23 July that including all the offsets allowed in the Kyoto Protocol would change the 5.2 reduction target to around a 0.8 per cent increase in emissions!

The Bonn Agreement decided on the following actions in the Kyoto Protocol :

* Binding consequences for countries that miss their targets
* Acceptable rules for emissions trading
* preferential treatment for renewable energy under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Although the following were not so good :

* "carbon sinks" are included in the CDM. But at least rules have to be agreed before countries can start including their sinks allowances

* no limits on countries counting the carbon absorbed by cropland, rangeland and grazing management.

"Carbon Sinks" is the term given to natural forests which are being used as a get-out clause for countries to not reduce their emissions to levels set in the Kyoto Protocol. The trees and vegetation soak up the carbon dioxide.So why continue the destruction of the Rainforests?

A personal opinion

If I had a patch of grass outside my house, could I pump as many emissions as possible into the atmosphere in the pretense that I had a "carbon sink" ?

It would seem that money rules the World, yet it will be the one thing that destroys it, if humankind doesn't wake up!


Source: WWF Climate Section

Document last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018

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