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UN Panel Meets On Climate Change


Scientists and other experts from 120 countries are meeting in Thailand this week to discuss ways to respond to climate change. The same group warned earlier this year that global warming poses a major threat to mankind. Ron Corben reports from Bangkok.

Earlier this year, the said that humans were likely the cause of global warming, which is expected to bring violent storms, droughts, flooding and famine.

This week, the experts are debating a report about what governments and international organizations can do to limit the effects of climate change.

The 1,500-page report and a 20-page summary are due for release Friday.

Early drafts of the summary call for world leaders to act quickly to reduce global warming, especially by containing or reducing the emission of so-called "greenhouse gases" such as carbon dioxide.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, told delegates the report would discuss how new technology can fight global warming.

"There is a forward-looking assessment of technological options, and this, I think, will certainly make this report of great relevance, even from the point of view of initiatives in the field of science and technology, and the development of new technologies," he said.

Pachauri says the report will provide guidelines, but it will be up to governments to follow through.

Environmental groups say the United States and China - the two largest producers of greenhouse gases - may seek to weaken the recommendations in the final report.

The report is expected to recommend the use of alternatives to coal and oil, and reforestation.

Pachauri said all countries will have the chance to debate and express their views in closed plenary sessions over the next several days.

"Ultimately, it's balanced assessment of the science which prevails. That's precisely why we have authors present," he continued, "so that they can give the reasons, they can provide the justification for all their findings."

The draft summary report says the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions could be relatively low, emphasizing better fuel efficiency, subsidies for renewable energy and the use of technology to ensure more energy-efficient buildings.

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