sábado, marzo 15, 2008

JAPAN: Tony Blair Urges `Revolutionary' Carbon Emission Cuts

Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the U.S., Japan and European nations to make ``revolutionary'' cuts to greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

``Since poorer nations will see their emissions rise as they industrialize, and since the world population may well grow from 6 to 9 billion, emissions in the richer nations will have to fall close to zero,'' Blair said at energy and environmental talks in Chiba City near Tokyo.

Ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations and representatives from 12 other countries discussed how to finance technological efforts to tackle climate change, and the basis for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012.

U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases total 20 tons a year per person, twice as much as in Europe and Japan, Blair said. The world's average emission level may need to fall to as low as 2 tons per person to halve global output of the harmful gases by 2050, he said.

``If the average person in the U.S. is to emit, per capita, one-10th of what they do today and those in the U.K. or Japan by one-fifth, we're not talking adjustment, we're talking about a revolution,'' Blair said.

Green Technology

Japan will propose developing 21 emission-fighting technologies by 2030 at the three-day meeting, dubbed the ``G-8 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development.''

The technologies include coal- and gas-fired power plants that emit almost no carbon dioxide, steelmaking processes using hydrogen, and a system to store carbon underground.

The conference serves as a prelude to another climate change summit this July, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The Kyoto Protocol requires 37 nations to cut emissions by a combined 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. The accord was never designed to solve global warming, and a new treaty must set targets to restrict temperature gains, Robert Watson, former chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said March 11 at the Oceanology International conference in London.

The 1997 treaty limiting emissions for developed countries expires in 2012. The U.S. never ratified the accord. A new treaty is expected to be signed in Copenhagen next year.

Global Fund

The U.S., the largest emitter of greenhouse gases among industrialized nations, will seek to increase a proposed $10 billion clean technology fund, Daniel Price, an international economic affairs adviser to President George W. Bush, said yesterday.

The size of the fund, to be raised by the U.S., U.K., Japan and the World Bank, ``is insufficient to address the cost of the challenge,'' Price said. ``We are focused now on expanding the universe of donors for this fund.''

Price attended a meeting on energy security and climate change in Chiba before the G-20 ministerial talks.

China, the world's second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, said on March 5 developed nations should provide financial support of 0.5 percent of their annual gross domestic product to help it and other developing nations remedy the effects of climate change.

China's Plea
The Chinese proposal was among 26 submissions published on the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to craft a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.

``The incentives will be there to make environmental technology a massive new industrial opportunity, equivalent to the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century,'' Blair said. ``The call to action is loud and clear.''

Source: Bloomberg| by Shigeru Sato & Yuji Okada

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