can’t see the forest

U.S. Uncooperative at Climate Summit

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After a meeting of environment ministers from the G8 and from developing nations in Potsdam, Germany, that country’s delegate has said that the United States blocked progress on two key issues related to combating climate change.

BBC News reports:

He was speaking after a two-day meeting of environment ministers in the German city of Potsdam.

The issues were carbon emissions trading and rewarding developing nations for protecting their natural assets, he said.

Mr Gabriel said the US opposition was “not a surprise”.

The Potsdam conference brought together ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations – the United States, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Italy and Russia – and Brazil, India, China Mexico and South Africa from the developing world…

The BBC’s Matt McGrath in Potsdam says there was a widespread acceptance that sustainable economic development had to go hand in hand with efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide.

But disagreements surfaced over specifics such as extending the global system of carbon trading, one of the central planks of any proposed deal to curb emissions.

According to one delegate the United States was “not subtle” in its opposition to carbon trading, and to another proposal that would pay developing countries to preserve rainforests.

“We find this regrettable,” Mr Gabriel told reporters.

The current U.S. administration’s environmental policy has consisted chiefly of silencing critics, denying culpability, and even feigning ignorance of the basic science behind human-aggravated global warming. The United States of America produces a very high percentage of the world’s carbon emissions in relation to its percentage of the global population; and U.S. consumer demand for complex goods, while attractive to developing nations with raw resources to sell, also negatively impacts ecosystems and promotes unsustainable industrial practices in those countries (such as China.)

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