Global environmental challenges
By Ray Colitt
Copenhagen summit attendees may be wondering why Brazil’s delegation to the U.N. climate meeting is being led not by its environment minister but by the president’s chief of staff. The answer is: elections next year in Brazil.
Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff is the government’s likely candidate in next October’s general election and wants to boost her environmental credentials. She was nudged into action after internationally-renowned Amazon defender Marina Silva joined the presidential race and pledged to put the environment on the campaign agenda.
Ironically, it was Environment Minister Carlos Minc who saw the chance for Brazil to take a leadership position in global climate talks and Rousseff who was one of the more reticent members of government to accept aggressive emissions targets.
Still, in Copenhagen Rousseff has made sure everyone knows she is in charge by publicly correcting Minc’s statement on Brazil’s demand for climate mitigation funds.
from Global News Journal:
After one and a half days of mostly uninspired and often irrelevant speeches by world leaders, French President Nicolas Sarkozy walked to the podium at UN climate talks in Copenhagen and produced a seven minute rallying cry - focused, energetic and packed with more punch than the rest put together.
Jabbing his finger, he berated leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States to own up to their responsibilities and make compromises. Point by point he delivered his challenges, each starting with: 'Who would dare..' (implied answer, no one)
There are around 120 heads of government at the Copenhagen climate talks, so many that it’s hard to keep track of the exact number.
Their presence has been trumpeted as a sign of the world’s commitment to tackling climate change. But in return for showing up, they all want a chance to address the conference – and by extension the world.
The issues are global and urgent, but the bureaucracy can sometimes be mind-bogglingly slow and petty.
After a day of stalled talks, the 193 nations at UN-led climate talks finally met for a plenary to discuss one of the main drafts floating around the summit, just two days (and two hours) from the deadline for a deal.
U.S. automakers claimed four of the six finalist spots North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year as picked by 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada.
U.S. automakers Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co each have one truck and one car on the list.
Today we pose the question to our virtual panel of experts, “How far can we trust the science of climate change?”
Join the debate and leave your comments below.
Bjorn Lomborg, statistician and author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist”:
The vast majority of climate scientists tell us that increases in carbon dioxide cause higher temperatures over time. We know that this will mean changes in rainfall, melting of snow and ice, a rise in sea level, and other impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.
from UK News:
With the clock ticking for world leaders to clinch a climate deal in Copenhagen, the last place you want to be is stuck at the back of a long queue.
But for thousands of delegates meeting in the Danish capital, that is exactly where they have spent endless hours this week.
For the past two weeks, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre has been confined to the glass towers that house the automaker’s downtown Detroit headquarters and an adjoining hotel.
Living out of suitcases, he says he ran out of dress shirts last week and turned up at a GM assembly plant in Flint wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.
Chronically rainy Taiwan faces a rare water shortage as leaders ask that people on the dense, consumption-happy island of 23 million finally start changing habits as dry weather is forecast into early 2010.
Taiwan, a west Pacific island covered with rainforests and topical fruit orchards, is used to rain in all seasons, bringing as much as 3,800 mm (150 inches) on average in the first 10 months of every year. But reservoirs have slipped in 2009 due to a chain of regional weather pattern flukes giving Taiwan too much dry high pressure while other parts of Asia get more storms than normal, the Central Weather Bureau says.