U.N. climate conference opens in Bali, Indonesia
Plenty is going on at the United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, where delegates from nearly 190 nations are gathered to lay the groundwork for a post-Kyoto climate treaty. Conference leaders have said they aim to have a new treaty ready to go by 2009. In the meantime, there’s no shortage of things to bicker about. Today delegates debated the role of China and India in a new climate treaty. Japan and Canada suggested the two developing-nation giants should be required to make deep cuts while other nations and some environmentalists suggested the two might need more time. The anti-poverty charity Oxfam joined Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Papua New Guinea in their calls for more aid from richer countries to help them both fight and adapt to climate change, which is expected to hit poorer nations the hardest. For its part, on Monday the U.S. delegation said, “We’re not here to be a roadblock.” However, with its insistence on only voluntary emissions cuts at a conference specifically aimed at churning out a binding agreement on mandatory cuts, the U.S., if not a roadblock, seems to have left the road completely.