Rift over climate – Tactics at issue

A deadlock between environmental pragmatists and hard-liners over global warming torpedoed talks aimed at a pioneering climate treaty, The New York Times reported Nov. 28.

Some environmental groups that joined representatives of 175 countries in two weeks of heated talks favored a practical, if imperfect, approach, while others would not yield, characterizing compromise as corruption, the Times said.

When the hard-liners ended up working in parallel with business interests that opposed the treaty to avoid limits on industrial emissions, the talks collapsed.

Scientists bemoaned the failure to find common ground, saying that extreme views on both sides unwittingly conspired.

“When something like this is killed, it is killed by an alliance of those who want too much with those who don’t want anything,” Michael Grubb, a professor of climate change and energy policy at Imperial College in London, told the Times.

The talks at The Hague aimed to write detailed rules to carry out the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty agreed to in Japan that, by 2012, would require three dozen industrialized nations to have cut their combined emissions of greenhouse gases to 5 percent below 1990 levels.

For full story, go to The New York Times.

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