Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Modest deal breaks climate deadlock

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Avoiding a last-minute breakdown, annual U.N. climate talks limped forward Saturday with a modest set of decisions meant to pave the way for a new pact to fight global warming.

More than 190 countries agreed in Warsaw to start preparing “contributions” for the new deal, which is supposed to be adopted in 2015.

That term was adopted after China and India objected to the word “commitments” in a standoff with the U.S. and other developed countries.

The fast-growing economies say they are still developing countries and shouldn’t have to take on as strict commitments to cut carbon emissions as industrialized nations.

“In the nick of time, negotiators in Warsaw delivered just enough to keep things moving,” said Jennifer Morgan, of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank.

The conference also advanced a program to reduce deforestation and established a “loss and damage” mechanism to help island states and other vulnerable countries under threat from rising seas, extreme weather and other climate impacts.

The wording was vague enough to make rich countries feel comfortable that they weren’t going to be held liable for climate catastrophes in the developing world.

U.S. and other rich countries also resisted demands to put down firm commitments on how they plan to fulfill a pledge to scale up climate financing to developing countries to $100 billion by 2020.

That money is meant to help developing countries transition to cleaner energy sources and adapt to shifts in climate that can affect agriculture, human health and economies in general.

“I think we had a good outcome in the end. It was quite a tough negotiation,” U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said.

The U.N. climate talks were launched two decades ago after scientists warned that humans were warming the planet by pumping CO2 and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. So far they’ve failed to reduce those emissions.

Historically, most emissions have come from the industrialized nations, but the developing world is catching up fast, driven by rapid growth in major countries including India, Brazil and China — the world’s top carbon polluter.

Though China has invested heavily in renewable sources it’s reluctant to promise emissions cuts internationally because it still gets almost 70 percent of its energy from coal, which produces the highest emissions of all fuels.

The talks were paralyzed for hours Saturday until China and India dropped demands for a reference to an article in the 1992 U.N. convention on climate change that says only developed countries are required to make commitments to cut emissions.

Western countries want to get rid of that “firewall” in the new climate deal, which countries have agreed should be applicable to all.

“In my understanding the firewall exists and it will continue to exist,” Indian Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said, indicating the issue is far from resolved.

The Warsaw conference called on parties to announce their offers to rein in or cut emissions by the first quarter of 2015 if they are “in a position to do so.” But it gave little detail on what kind of information should go into those offers.

“Unfortunately, they failed to agree on what process and criteria they would use to evaluate the adequacy and fairness of each other’s proposed actions,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

It also remains unclear what legal form the agreement should take.

Environmental activists, many of whom walked out of the talks in protest on Thursday, called the conference a failure for failing to deliver strong commitments to address climate change, and pointed to Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation in the Philippines as a sign of urgency.

A single typhoon or hurricane cannot be conclusively linked to climate change but rising sea levels can make storm surges stronger.

“Negotiators in Warsaw should have used this meeting to take a big and critical step towards global, just action on climate change. That didn’t happen,” said Samantha Smith, a climate activist at the World Wildlife Fund. “This has placed the negotiations towards a global agreement in 2015 at risk.”

————

By Karl Ritter. Associated Press writer Monika Scislowska contributed to this report. Follow Ritter at https://twitter.com/Karl_Ritter

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6