Green Blackmail

Published: Saturday 30 September 2000

the us is unlikely to achieve emission reduction targets as stipulated under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol due to large-scale economic growth. "Taking full advantage of the flexibility mechanisms is the only option left with us in order to meet the Kyoto target," said Frank Loy, under secretary of state for global affairs. The mechanisms include emissions trading ( et ), Clean Development Mechanism ( cdm ) and Joint Implementation ( ji ). et allows countries to trade emission allowances with other countries to meet Kyoto commitments. cdm allows developed countries to invest in eco-friendly projects of the developing countries, thereby, indirectly enabling them to purchase reduction emissions. ji, similarly stipulates that industrialised countries can get emission concession if they finance eco-friendly projects of other industrialised countries.

"We should not put any constraint on our ability to achieve domestic reductions," Loy added. "The us is basically saying that you give us what we want or we will not be able to do it," said Bill Hare, international policy director on climate change of Greenpeace, a international pressure group.

While the European Union is insisting that all developed countries make at least 50 per cent emission reductions domestically, the us and other like-minded nations are maintaining that the targets should be achieved in a 'cost-effective manner' and by 'meaningful participation' of the developed countries. According to the us, it is cheaper for the developed countries to make investments in the South and buy reductions. The us is the world's biggest polluter and no global warming treaty will achieve anything significant, without its cooperation.

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