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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 20_nov_climate_change


20 November 2000

dike now symbol of hope at climate talks but what's the price of a deal

The Chair of the Hague summit, Dutch environment minister Jan Pronk, has described the massive dike built by Friends of the Earth International as a symbol of hope for the success of the talks

But inside the Conference Centre, discussions are not going well. The United States and its supporters (Canada, Japan, Australia) are still trying to water down the Kyoto agreement. These countries want to avoid as far as possible having to take domestic action to cut emissions from fossil fuels. They are arguing for all kinds of loopholes including "sinks" (for example forests), which would count towards their Kyoto targets. The European Union argues in public for binding commitments to domestic action, but may agree a deal, such a "50/50" domestic/loophole split. Under pressure and in private, they may even accept forests and other sinks as counting towards an agreed 50% domestic contribution. This would mean that the U.S and others could reach Kyoto targets with barely any real action to cut fossil fuel emissions at all!

FoEI has been analysing US and other countries' policy papers to discover what price - per tonne of carbon saved - developed countries are prepared to pay for a deal at the talks? What price will the politicians put on the lives, homes and jobs lost in weather disasters?

Commenting, FoEI Climate Expert Frances MacGuire said: "Thousands of citizens came from all over the world last weekend to build a dyke. It is now the symbol of hope for the success of these talks. But inside the Conference Centre, the politicians are still fighting over every loophole and escape clause they can find.

"What price per tonne of carbon saved are the US and other countries prepared to pay for a deal in the Hague? What value do they put on the lives, jobs and homes that are being lost as a result of climate change?"

A news report on the building of the dyke will be shown on the internal TV system at the Conference Centre every hourfor the remainder of the week. Minister Pronk has promised to put sandbag from the dike on the table at plenary sessions of the Conference.

view the dike is done pictures

For further infomation please contact:

Press Officer - Ian Willmore Tel: 0044 7887 641344 (FoEI)

Climate Expert - Roda Verheyen Tel: 0044 7712 843216

Frances MacGuire Tel: 0044 7712 843460




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