US & China, Enviro-Fiends?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 5/02/2007 01:48:00 AM
The fourth assessment of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has not yet been officially released, yet the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters have already begun their bellyaching. From the Associated Press:
The USA and China want to water down a proposed plan for fighting climate change, arguing that action to reduce greenhouse gases will be more costly and time-consuming than scientists claim.

They also play down the benefits of reducing emissions, disputing recommendations by European governments that greenhouse gases be capped at around 445 parts per million in the air. The current level of greenhouse gases is about 430 ppm.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of 2,000 scientists, drew up the plan. Governments have spent the last few weeks reviewing the proposals and are meeting with the scientists this week to work out their differences.

A Communist Party publication has even dubbed action to curb emissions--get this--"climate terrorism"(!):
Beijing objects to much in the draft of the latest U.N. report on global warming being discussed by scientists and officials in Bangkok this week. Analysts said Beijing wanted to protect long-term growth from pressure to cut greenhouse gases.

"China doesn't want to be corralled into commitments that minimize its freedom of action, and questioning the science and digging in is part of that," said Paul Harris, an expert on climate change politics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong...

But the assessment also said drastic action was not warranted. "With uncertainties about climate change, there should not be premature or over-zealous setting of overall global carbon emissions caps."

It warned that such steps could "bring major harm to some countries' economies, especially developing countries."

The Global Times, a newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party, accused Western politicians last week of using "climate terrorism" to undermine China's quest for prosperity.