News

Cutting Carbon Dioxide

Is 'Cap and Trade' the answer? Rebecca Ward explores that this week on VOA's environmental webcast, 'Going Green.'

Cutting Carbon Dioxide
Cutting Carbon Dioxide
Rebecca Ward

African nations say they are feeling the brunt of climate change, and they want wealthier nations to do more about it.  Earlier this month, African delegates pulled out of U.N. climate talks in Barcelona, Spain demanding that developed countries make deeper cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.

Morris Koffa, Africa Environmental Watch
Morris Koffa, Africa Environmental Watch

"The global community has to put pressure on the industrialized countries to make sure they cut their emissions to a very greater number, say up to 40 percent," says Morris Koffa, executive director of Africa Environmental Watch.  "That way it reduces the level of impact to Africa because no matter how you calculate it, Africa is being severly impacted."

A new deal at the United Nations Climate Change conference this year would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States never ratified.  The U.S. delegation has signaled President Obama is prepared to set a target for cutting carbon emissions.  A carbon dioxide emissions target is still under debate in the U.S. Congress with proposed "Cap and Trade" legislation.  But some in Congress believe the legislation could severly curtail the U.S. economy. 

"When we look at capping greenhouse gases and putting a cap on carbon," says Jackie Roberts of the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit environmental group, "we see that it's going to drive a lot of economic opportunity and that the U.S. can really play in that game.  And because we're not promoting policies here that encourage demand for a lot of these new technologies, we're actually losing ground to other countries."

The proposed U.S. legislation promotes environmentally friendly energy sources and limits how much carbon dioxide power plants and factories can release into the air.  These factories would receive carbon "credits" to sell to or trade with other carbon producers.

But Charlie Drevna of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association says the legislation creates a model that will not work for the United States.

Charlie Drevna, Natl. Petrochemical Refiners Association
Charlie Drevna, Natl. Petrochemical Refiners Association

He says such legislation would debilitate the U.S. economy and pass along unnecessary, massive costs to consumers.  The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a Cap and Trade bill in June that sets a 17 percent  reduction in carbon emissions.  The proposed Senate bill calls for a 20 percent reduction over the next 10 years.  Morris Koffa of Africa Environmental Watch says African nations are not only looking for higher reductions from the United States, they are eager to receive compensation for the effects of climate change from heavily industrialized countries.

He says African governments could use that money for education, training and technology that would help reduce Africa's impact on the environment.

You can see all of Rebecca Ward's episodes of "Going Green", available here.

 

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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs