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

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User comments : 7

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3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2011
Energy, other than nuclear, cannot renew at a rate greater than 1350 Watts per square meter.
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 could I forget...
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.
3 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2011

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.
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
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.
1.7 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
USA global do-gooder, lmao yeah right

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