The latest round of international climate talks is under way in Bonn, Germany, as environmentalists warn that the United Nations predictions for a warmer world are too conservative.
This round of negotiations, a two-week session, is only the latest, and not the last (there are at least eight more planned in the next year and a half). The goal is to produce a new international framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which bound 37 signatories to a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, below 1990 levels, by 2012. The final treaty will be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009..
The United States signed but never ratified the treaty, and the Senate is currently considering a bill that would reduce emissions by somewhere between 35-70% below 2005 levels by 2050.
Among the topics to be covered in Bonn are, according to the U.N., "facilitating the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, reducing emissions from deforestation, increasing investment for climate change, and improving the emissions trading system established under the Kyoto Protocol."
Also to be considered, according to the Associated Press, is a carbon tax on airline tickets. With 2,400 participants from 172 countries and eight more meetings yet to take place (the next in Accra, Ghana), the delegates certainly have a large carbon footprint from all that air travel.
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