News / Africa

UN Climate Chief: Emission Reduction Targets Lacking

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres (File Photo)
U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres (File Photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Daniel Schearf

The United Nations says countries need to commit to higher reductions of greenhouse gas emissions before a global treaty expires in 2012.  Representatives from 173 countries are discussing emission-reduction targets and support for poorer nations at U.N. climate negotiations this week in Bangkok.  

U.N. climate-change chief Christiana Figueres told reporters national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fall short of what is needed to check climate change.

At talks in Mexico last year countries agreed they should cut emissions enough to prevent the global average temperature from increasing by more than two-degrees Celsius by 2020.

Representatives also agreed to establish a fund for helping poor nations adapt to climate change.

Figueres says while the global goals are commendable countries have yet to set the needed emission reduction targets or the funding mechanism.

"The sum of national promises so far equals only 60 percent of what science says is required to have a medium chance of staying below the two-degree goal," Figueres said. "Moreover, a coordinated system to manage and deploy enough resources to protect the poor and vulnerable from existing climate change is not yet adequate."

The United Nations says if global average temperatures increase by more than two degrees, up to 30 percent of plant and animal life is at increased risk of extinction.

Representatives are meeting in Bangkok this week for at the United Nations regional office to negotiate on emission reductions and funding for climate-change programs.

Figuerres says they need to agree this year on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the global emission reduction treaty.

It committed 36 industrialized nations, with the notable exception of the United States, to reduce emissions by an average five percent of 1990 levels.  But it is set to expire at the end of next year and no binding agreement is ready to take its place.

Tove Ryding, with Greenpeace international laments some industrialized countries’ new reduction targets are less than they pledged with Kyoto.

"So, not only do we have a problem when it comes to taking further action.  We actually have some governments, some developed country governments that are rolling backwards," said Ryding. "The same with the Kyoto Protocol. Some developed countries are more eager to get out of the Kyoto Protocol than to build on it and go forward."

Some scientists say rising temperatures are increasing incidents of erratic weather, such as flash floods and droughts.

At the talks in Bangkok, concern has been raised that Japan’s nuclear crisis may lead countries to scrap nuclear-power plans for coal-fired or other emission-heavy power production.

The United Nations and activists say countries that reconsider nuclear power should use the opportunity to invest in renewable energies because they are cleaner and safer.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid