News

    Copenhagen Conference to Tackle Global Warming

    Two-week conference aims to achieve legally binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and has been billed as last best chance to clinch a deal.

    UN officials, climate experts, environmental activists, and more than 60 world leaders gather in Copenhagen for a two-week conference on climate change to begin December 7. Their aim is to achieve a legally binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But there are questions about how much can be achieved and how any agreement would be implemented.

    The Copenhagen conference has been billed as the last best chance to clinch a deal, but doubts have been raised whether it can do that.
     
    Environmental groups will press the case for urgent action, says Charlie Kronick, climate advisor at Greenpeace UK.

    "We need to have a legally binding agreement to reduce carbon emission in developed countries as quickly as possible," he urged.  "And what we need along with that is a significant commitment for funding from the developed countries to the developing countries - to fund technology transfer, to fund forest protection and also to fund adaptation to climate change, that we're already committed to," he said.

    The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for heating up the atmosphere.  And, since industrialized nations were the greatest polluters for years, they, more than others, are under pressure to cut emissions.  

    But, many say developing countries also need to do more. They in turn want financial help to make the transition.

    Both need to work together, says Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the UN Environment Program.

    "What we're looking for in Copenhagen is a global partnership between the North and the South, between the developed, industrialized nations and the rapidly developing ones with the other developing nations also a part of that cooperative partnership deal, which is the only way we're going to deal with this," he said.

    Most scientists say human activity is behind global warming and that it's up to humans to make changes to stem the tide.

    But, politics and economics get in the way, says Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace.

    "Governments in general and politicians all over the world are looking at a price tag that's attached to their term of office," he said.  "They always forget, and it's rarely emphasized in public, that it's better to spend the money now than in the future. The worse the problem gets, the more it costs to adapt."

    Copenhagen is supposed to come up with a successor to the 1997 Kyoto agreement that mandated cuts in emissions.  It expires in 2012.  Some say Kyoto was doomed from the start because the United States never signed on.

    But, President Obama will come to Copenhagen. And the United States has put emission cut proposals on the table.  

    The conference is the moment of truth, says Nick Nuttall of the UN.

    "This is the point at which governments really have to decide if they're serious about climate and if so, what they're going to do about it," he said.

    It now remains to be seen if politicians are listening.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora