Activists call for renewable energy at UN meeting

Apr 03, 2011 By DENIS D. GRAY , Associated Press

(AP) -- Citing the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, environmental activists at a U.N. meeting Sunday urged bolder steps to tap renewable energy so the world doesn't have to choose between the dangers of nuclear power and the ravages of climate change.

The call came at the opening of the six-day meeting aimed at implementing resolutions tabled at the U.N. in Cancun, Mexico, in December.

Senior officials from governments and international organizations will already be playing some catch-up as deadlines - including one for the formation of a multibillion fund to help developing nations obtain clean-energy technology - have been missed along a roadmap leading to another at the end of the year in Durban, South Africa.

Before the Bangkok meeting, the U.N.'s top climate change official warned that a very significant global effort would be required to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.8 F) above preindustrial levels - an agreement reached in Cancun between 193 countries, most of which are represented here.

Pledges to reduce emissions made by countries so far equal only 60 percent of what scientists say is required by 2020 to stay below the two-degrees threshold, Christiana Figueres said.

"We did the easy thing at Cancun and left the difficult ones for Durban. And the politics are getting more difficult this year than last," said Artur Runge-Metzger, a European Union climate change official, pointing to efforts by Republicans to block some of President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce emissions.

"We need to see big strides forward before we get to Durban. We have to speed up the pace of work," Runge-Metzger said.

One of the issues taken up in Bangkok will be the formation of the Green Climate Fund, which is to aid developing nations obtain clean-energy technology. Governments have agreed to mobilize $100 billion a year, starting in 2020, but a "transition committee" to design the fund, which was to have been formed last month, is still being discussed along with exactly how the money will be raised.

Technology committees and other institutions to implement resolutions are still on negotiating tables, and it was unclear how much the delegates could accomplish in Bangkok.

The World Wide Fund for Nature said the Bangkok talks needed to build on the "fragile compromise" at Cancun and "boost the overall ambition levels of the talks if we are to avert the worst consequences of climate change."

Greenpeace, another non-governmental organization, said that in light of the Japan disaster, governments represented in Bangkok were obliged to speed up changes in their energy sectors and promote green technologies.

"The world does not have to choose between climate disasters and disasters caused by dangerous energy like nuclear. We can choose a safe future where our societies are powered by ," it said.

As the conference began, activists from Asian and African countries began a weeklong protest outside the United Nations building, carrying an effigy of Uncle Sam to symbolize the role of the industrialized world in climate change. They said rich nations owed a huge climate debt to be repaid to developing ones by funding and technology transfer.

The global effort to avert began with a 1992 U.N. treaty, when the world's nations promised to do their best to rein in carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases emitted by industry, transportation and agriculture.

Progress, however, has been slow and many scientists warn that dramatic reductions in emissions will be needed to substantially slow the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers, the rise of sea levels and other consequences of global warming.

Explore further: Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Delegates told to ID achievable goals on climate

Oct 04, 2010

(AP) -- The U.N. climate chief urged countries Monday to search faster for common ground on battling climate change so that a year-end meeting in Mexico can produce results in that fight.

UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year

May 03, 2010

(AP) -- Outgoing U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer shot down expectations of a climate treaty this year, saying Monday that a major U.N. conference in December would yield only a "first answer" on curbing greenhouse ...

Plodding climate talks stepping up to higher level

Dec 05, 2010

(AP) -- The slow-moving U.N. talks on combating global warming took a step forward Saturday with revised proposals for a $100 billion-a-year climate aid fund and other issues for debate by the world's environment ...

UN climate talks in focus at Davos forum

Jan 27, 2011

(AP) -- Businesses, especially U.S. ones, must get more involved in the global effort to slow climate change and help pressure politicians to enact policies that promote green growth, international leaders ...

Climate talks appear to slip backward

Aug 06, 2010

(AP) -- Global climate talks appeared to have slipped backward after five days of negotiations in Bonn, with rich and poor countries exchanging charges of reneging on agreements they made last year to contain greenhouse ...

UN: Emission pledges fall short of climate target

Nov 23, 2010

(AP) -- Emissions cuts pledged by countries in a nonbinding climate accord last year fall short of what's needed to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the U.N.'s environment agency said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils

16 hours ago

New Zealand's pastoral landscapes are some of the loveliest in the world, but they also contain a hidden threat. Many of the country's pasture soils have become enriched in cadmium. Grasses take up this toxic heavy metal, ...

Oil drilling possible 'trigger' for deadly Italy quakes

21 hours ago

Italy's Emilia-Romagna region on Tuesday suspended new drilling as it published a report that warned that hydrocarbon exploitation may have acted as a "trigger" in twin earthquakes that killed 26 people in ...

Snow is largely a no-show for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

21 hours ago

On March 1, 65 mushers and their teams of dogs left Anchorage, Alaska, on a quest to win the Iditarod—a race covering 1,000 miles of mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, tundra and coastline. According ...

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

21 hours ago

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Study shows less snowpack will harm ecosystem

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new study by CAS Professor of Biology Pamela Templer shows that milder winters can have a negative impact both on trees and on the water quality of nearby aquatic ecosystems, far into the warm growing season.

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2011
Energy, other than nuclear, cannot renew at a rate greater than 1350 Watts per square meter.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 03, 2011
As the conference began, activists from Asian and African countries began a weeklong protest outside the United Nations building, carrying an effigy of Uncle Sam to symbolize the role of the industrialized world in climate change. They said rich nations owed a huge climate debt to be repaid to developing ones by funding and technology transfer.


What? No thanks for pasteurization, refrigeration, the vaccine, antibiotics, complete eradication of many human parasites, viruses, and bacteria, about 99.9% of this help came from the U.S. and Europe, but that's not enough is it?

What have we done for you lately eh? You would still have a 25 to 40 year average life span if not for the "industrialized" nations.

Hey I have a bright idea. Let's give all the africans and south americans free oil, free food, and free college educations at the cost of American tax payers, meanwhile Americans can't afford these things...

...oh, wait, we're already doing that...how could I forget...
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
Q_C have you ever looked into the World Bank or the IMF? That's rhetorical. It's obvious you haven't. How can someone with so much be such a f***ing crybaby? Seriously. Get a life.

Q_C is insanely racist. Like insanely in the sense that it's a mental disease and he'll never be convinced otherwise. People like him don't start out looking at Africa then get mad based on whats going on. They are already mad (because of their racism) and they go looking for things (often nonexistent) to prop up their failed ideologies. Basically Q_C is a bad person and even if he doesn't know any better (he probably does) no one should waste their time trying to understand his horrendously racist BS. Basically just vote everything he says 1 regardless of content (without bothering to read it) and maybe he'll go away. Probably not though.
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2011
FrankHebert:

What are you talking about?

What is going on in Africa is a product of two basic things:

Despotism and racism among their own people, after all, those are what drive the genocides in the regions, and have nothing whatsoever to do with me or the U.S.

I certainly haven't done anything to hurt anyone in Africa, nor would I wish that on any of them.
FrankHerbert
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 03, 2011
I apologize for the acerbity of my previous response, but it's the West that props up these leaders. It's easier for us to have strongmen in these countries than to support democracy and run the risk of the populations disagreeing with us. And it's not just the aid that keeps these people in power. That's just the icing on the cake for them. They are in power because the West wants them to be in power.

Are you familiar with the US's involvement in Latin America over the past 100 or so years? The same things are going on in Africa. We set them up to fail. This is capitalism on the scale of nations as actors. For some to be on top there has to be many on the bottom.

The IMF and World Bank give out loans to poor nations in exchange for them restricting their economies to the extent that they will never be able to pay back the loan. Then basically an entire nation becomes slaves to the West. This is a reason why we have cheap oil (yes it is cheap). This is why our lifestyle is possible
Bog_Mire
5 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2011
you just bang away on your shiny laptop while the people of Laos farm amongst land mines and UXB's that USA dumped all over the country side in the name of expediency.
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
USA global do-gooder, lmao yeah right

More news stories

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.