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Environmentalists Meeting in Spain to Draft Key Report on Global Warming


The international climate change panel that won this year's Nobel peace prize is holding a meeting in the Spanish city of Valencia this week to draft a key report on global warming. Environmentalists hope the document will increase pressure on countries like the United States and China to agree to binding cuts on greenhouse gas emissions. Lisa Bryant has more from Paris.

Experts from roughly 140 countries are in Valencia this week to synthesize previous global warming studies they produced earlier this year into a report that will be published Friday. They are part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, an international body of experts that won this year's Nobel peace prize for its work on global warming.

The gathering comes ahead of key climate change talks due in December, in Bali, Indonesia. Governments are expected to consider drafting a successor to the 1990 Kyoto Protocol on cutting earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol expires in 2012.

But even as environmentalists praise the IPCC, some like World Wildlife Fund energy expert Stephan Singer believe the panel is already out of date.

"We have seen post-IPCC science coming out the last couple of months which tells us the cautious and conservative consensus body of the IPCC is already past history, unfortunately," Singer said. "We have seen record melting in the Arctic, 10 times as strong as observed this year as the average of 10 to 15 years. We have seen to the surprise of many that the ocean probably is much more saturated with carbon dioxide than we thought before."

Singer notes the IPCC's findings still carry immense political weight. He hopes governments will bear them in mind when they head to Bali next month.

"What World Wildlife Fund hopes will end up in the process following Bali is for long-term emissions reductions of industrialized countries of something like 30 percent, by 2020," he said. "And of course, taking into account over time the large and growing emissions by emerging economies."

Environmentalists particularly hope richer nations like the United States, which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, will take the lead in mandatory emissions cuts -- and set an example for growing and polluting economies like China and India to follow.

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