UN climate conferences are a bit overwhelming. The negotiations, which are divided into several tracks that go on simultaneously throughout the two weeks, are awash in a sea of acronyms (SBSTA, SBI, AWG, etc.) and issue areas (adaptation, deforestation, technology transfer, clean development mechanism). Beyond the actual discussions between governments, there are numerous press conferences, side events, and even protests and demonstrations going on outside.
Australia has now ratified the Kyoto Protocol and the United States is left as the only major country refusing to join the agreement. A recent change in government in Australia means that the US is now truly by itself in refusing to commit to this initial step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Negotiations started today in Bali, Indonesia at the 13th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Over the next two weeks, countries are working to agree to a mandate for negotiating the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which currently requires signatories in industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by modest percentages below 1990 levels. The first phase of the Protocol will end in 2012, and agreements need to be…
California's Pavley Law, which would limit CO2 emissions of cars and trucks in the state by around 30 percent, is being zealously blocked by the federal government.
The report, published in the August 15 edition of Environmental Science and Technology, is the latest to focus on the adverse health impacts of these chemicals. When brominated fire retardants burn, they convert to dioxins, among the most potent carcinogens known. As a result, firefighters suffer from four types of cancer--especially non-Hodgkin's lymphoma--at extremely high rates.