U.N. conference ends with little progress on climate action

In a monstrous anticlimax, the U.N. climate summit in Nairobi, Kenya, ended with a decision to … review the Kyoto Protocol in 2008. “From Christian Aid’s point of view that’s simply not good enough, and we need some heads to be knocked together by somebody,” said Andrew Pendleton of the charity organization. U.K. environment minister David Miliband put a finer point on it: “I come away from this conference with two senses: one, the world community can make progress when it puts its mind to it, but two, my goodness we really need to up the momentum, we need to increase the acceleration.” Most agree that won’t happen until the U.S., responsible for about 25 percent of the world’s emissions, agrees to cuts — not likely until post-Bush. “Everyone is waiting for the [U.S.],” said Paal Prestrud, head of Oslo’s Center for International Climate and Environmental Research. “I think the whole process will be on ice until 2009.” We’d make a melting-ice joke, but we’re too busy crying.