us President George W Bush has announced a climate meeting for the end of September. The announcement comes
at a time when there is already a un-led initiative to hammer out an agreement on emission targets after the expiry of
Kyoto Protocol, and must been seen as another instance of the us side-stepping multilateral negotiations.
The un Framework Convention on Climate Change (unfccc) has decided on a meet in Bali, Indonesia, in December this year, to discuss measures to be adopted after 2012--when the Kyoto Protocol lapses. A series of meets have been planned as a run-up to the Bali conference. One of them is slated for September 24.The meet called by the us president is close on the heels of this unfccc meet it is slated for September 27-28 (will be over by the time this issue gets printed). The guest list for the us meet includes developed countries and a category of nations described as 'major economies'.
The Newsweek -- normally an instrument of American foreign policy -- recently revealed that the us isattempting to introduce sophisticated new impediments in reducing the use of fossil fuels. The desperation of this patriotic American weekly only shows the worrying extent to which the climate belligerence of us has grown, despite appeals by a large segment of the population, eminent climate scientists, some individual states and even a section of the industry (we can perhaps forgive this weekly now for alerting us to an impending spectre of 'global cooling' in a 1975 issue). Even the Hollywood which sells the world the most unsustainable life style has joined the climate chorus. And now the us wants to put the rest of the world, the developing countries in particular, on a reactive gear, and that is what they are aiming through the conference.
The new meet is also against the G-8 June 2007 Summit decision to "actively participate in the un Climate Change Conference in December in Indonesia with a view to achieving a post-2012 agreement.". It may be recalled that Bush had insisted at this meeting on incorporating India and China in the successor agreement to Kyoto Protocol.
But participation in the us conference would tantamount to denying the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol and a complicity in undermining the multilateral forums and processes.
S Faizi is a Trivandrum-based ecologist specialising in international environmental policy
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