Item: “The United Nations is planning a form of diplomatic shock therapy for world leaders this week in the hope of injecting badly needed urgency into negotiations for a climate change treaty that, it is now widely acknowledged, are dangerously adrift,” reported London’s Observer for September 20. “By the end of the day,” the British paper continued, “the rationale goes, the leaders will be imbued with a new sense of purpose. Leaders of rich countries will have been galvanised to take on the big emissions cuts — 25-40% over the next decade, 80% by 2050 — needed to keep temperatures from rising more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels.”
As debate heats up in the Senate over its new cap-and-trade bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pre-empting legislators' efforts to shackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters with new rules of its own. An EPA press release published Wednesday said that the agency intends to take advantage of provisions in the Clean Air Act to tighten restrictions on large industrial plant operations.
As the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference looms nearer, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is stepping up the pressure for drastic action in Copenhagen, and the United States and China appear poised to help lead the way.
In November, the World Health Organization (WHO) will release a study on population growth and climate change that claims contraception plays a key role in combatting global warming.