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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 13_june_kyoto

13_june_kyoto

monday 13 june 2000

kyoto climate treaty heading for the rocks

environmental groups issue global warning

Bonn. The leading industrialised nations are undermining the effectiveness of the world's only agreement to combat global climate change, an international coalition of environmental organisations including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF warned today[1].

The Kyoto treaty is supposed to reduce emissions of climate changing pollution by 5 per cent over the coming decade. But the world's most industrialised nations are looking for loopholes to allow their (OECD) emissions to increase by 15-20% per cent. The green groups single out the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as the main culprits, as more than 120 nations convene in Bonn this week for ten days of climate talks.

Roda Verheyen of Friends of the Earth said:
"Too many industrialised countries are protecting their selfish interests rather than acting to prevent a climate catastrophe which will hit the whole globe. The situation is becoming desperate. This is why so many environmental organisations have joined together to issue this warning. We must act now before it is too late."

Bill Hare of Greenpeace said:
"These Governments are trying to create the impression that they are moving ahead on climate policies while in reality, in the smoke-filled backrooms of these negotiations, they are systematically attempting to shred every last bit of environmental integrity from the Kyoto Protocol."

Jennifer Morgan of WWF International warned:
"If governments don't pull the helm over, the Kyoto Protocol is headed for the rocks."

The environmental movement wants the Kyoto Protocol to meet its stated purpose to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a first step to avoid dangerous climate change. But loopholes in the rules could permit the worst polluters including USA, Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to continue increasing emissions, and avoid domestic action. One big loopholes is the rules on forestry activities. Canada, Japan, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Sweden and France want rules which would encourage the chopping down of old-growth forests, replacing them with new plantations from which they can claim pollution credits.

The treaty allows countries to meet their targets by trading pollution "rights", via projects in each other's countries and by relying on forests to soak up carbon pollution from the air. Governments now appear determined to stretch this flexibility to breaking point.

Environmental groups also want to prevent Canada, Japan, France, Australia, the USA, New Zealand and the UK from having nuclear power accepted as a "Clean Development Mechanism".

The coalition of environmental groups which has issued the climate warning to world leaders includes: CAN INDONESIA * CLIMATE NETWORK EUROPE * CLIMATE NETWORK AFRICA * CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK AUSTRALIA * CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE * FRIENDS OF THE EARTH * GREENPEACE * KIKO NETWORK JAPAN * PELANGI INDONESIA * MALAYSIAN CLIMATE CHANGE GROUP * NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST * OZONE ACTION * SIERRA CLUB * US PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP * WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE

 

Notes to Editors:
(1) Undermining the Kyoto Protocol: Environmental Effectiveness vs. Political Expediency. A briefing is available from the FOE (London) Press Office.

For more information (in Bonn):

Roda Verheyen, Climate Change Campaigner, Friends of the Earth. Tel: 07712 843 216 (mobile).
(Speaks English, German, Norwegian), or
Frances Maguire, Climate Change Campaigner FOE; Tel. 07712 843 220

Bill Hare, Climate Policy Director, Greenpeace International. Tel: +31 6 2129 6899 (mobile).
(Speaks English)

Jennifer Morgan, Director, WWF Climate Change Campaign. Tel: +1 201 873 0034 (mobile)
. (Speaks English, German)  

 

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