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December 12, 2008
Climate conference targets developing nations

Former Vice President Al Gore speaks at the U.N. climate conference in Poznan, Poland.

In Poznan, Poland, about 11,000 people from more than 190 countries met this week to lay the foundations for a treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will extend beyond the Kyoto Protocol agreement, which expires in 2012.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hopes to finalize the new climate protocol at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

This week’s conference has focused largely on convincing emerging economies like China, Brazil and South Africa to curb their emissions, and negotiators have agreed to free at least $60 million for developing countries to combat effects of climate change.

Stavros Dimas, the European Commissioner for Environment, writes in his blog from Poznan that he is optimistic although even more stringent targets are necessary.

British conservative politician and blogger Roger Helmer, also in Poznan, writes that he has witnessed “knee-jerk alarmism” at the conference and fears the third world will blackmail Western countries over climate change.

Blogger Andrew Light writes at the “Wonk Room” blog about “the American problem” — fear that the Obama administration will not support the forthcoming treaty in Copenhagen if the U.S. Congress cannot agree on a cap and trade system.

Blogger Matt Maiorana of “It’s Getting Hot in Here” expresses anger at statements from developed countries and writes about efforts of the youth movement in Poznan.

Esther Neuhaus, affiliated with Brazilian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), demands that leaders stop talking and take action on the last day of talks. Brazil plans to cut its deforestation by 70 percent by 2017.

OneClimate’s “Virtual Poznan” Web site provides videos from the conference and allows users to pose questions for conference participants.

In the following video, Daniel Nelson of OneWorld asks Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo De Boer some user-submitted questions via a Second Life virtual world.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user benkamorvan under a Creative Commons license.

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