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International

Climate changing, political climate unchanged

An international meeting in Bonn, Germany, has been trying to find common ground for the nations of the planet to deal with climate change. But nothing's changed politically and the meeting has accomplished little.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

An international meeting in Bonn, Germany, has been trying to find common ground for the nations of the planet to deal with climate change. But nothing's changed politically and the meeting has accomplished little.

The current Kyoto Protocol on climate change expires at the end of 2012. And it has never been ratified by the world's two leading producers of greenhouse gas emissions: US and China, or China and the US, depending on whose stats you're reading. The hope is for an international gathering in Copenhagen to come with up a treaty that can be presented to the nations of the world. That meeting is in December, 2009. Decemeber, in Denmark--they must really be counting on some serious global warming.

This month's Bonn gathering was marked by continued bickering over who goes first. Like little kids afraid to jump into a cold swimming pool, the rich nations say everybody's gotta do the same thing at the same time. "Let's all hold hands..."

Meanwhile, the poorer nations say they can't afford to do much and the rich nations and big polluters (China and US) should go first. The Indian delegate said industrialized nations like the US and Japan have been resoundingly silent. At this meeting observers say the US, Canada and Australia are makng roadblocks to agreement. Canada has a huge supply of tar sands. Both Australia and the US are rich in coal deposits. Meanwhile the EU aims to cut its carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.

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