Sunday, October 24, 2010

Biodiversity, not Emissions, the Focus in Japan

International delegates gathered this week in Nagoya, Japan, to continue the dialog on global climate issues. The specific focus of this convention was not to debate emissions reductions, but rather to promote the urgency of biodiversity conservation. Because a significant percentage of GDP in poor nations is reliant upon fragile ecosystems such as fresh water, corral and forests, the UN group is discussing potential conservation targets.

In Japan, conservation groups also pleaded with UN representatives to cease geo-engineering projects as they are risky and counterproductive to the focus on emissions reductions and the spirit of conservation. Geo-engineering project proposals have included fertilizing the ocean to create CO2 consuming phytoplankton, injecting seawater into the atmosphere, placing solar reflectors in space, spurring artificial volcanoes and storing carbon dioxide underground (CCS).

This week as well in Japan, Prime Minister Kan restated his country’s opposition to extending the terms of the Kyoto Protocol in lieu of a global climate agreement, as China and allies support such an action.

Other carbon articles of note:

· Mexico’s Foreign Minister says conditions not met for a climate deal in Cancun later this year.

· Achieving carbon emission targets is stretching Mexico financial resources without the specter of international aid.

· Europe on track to meet Kyoto emissions targets, but emissions from imported goods up 40%. Highlights the environmental and moral hazard of regional carbon regimes.

· Czech president claims climate change is not a threat or result of man.

· Canadian provinces seriously concerned about outcome of California’s Prop 23 vote.

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