FROM Fiona Harvey
Big Oil and Other Industries Shift Gears on Climate Change Four years ago, the fossil-fuel lobby helped to beat back President Obama's proposed cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse emissions. Exxon Mobil, America's most profitable company, led the way in global warming denial. Times have changed and Exxon Mobil is beginning to sound more like Al Gore. The oil giant would even be willing to pay a tax on carbon emissions. Other oil companies would too, along with Walmart, DuPont and General Electric. They're now in direct opposition to former Republican and Tea Party allies, at a time of warnings that climate disasters could be "sudden and unexpected." Would a carbon tax help to slow global warming? What would it mean for company profits and the cost of living?
Durban Deal Breaks New Ground, but May Not Slow Climate Change After working through Saturday night into yesterday morning, the UN Conference on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa finally reached an agreement . It includes India, China and other developing nations, as well as the developed world. But environmental groups call it an "empty shell." The agreement won't go into effect until 2020 and sets no goals for reducing greenhouse emissions in the meantime. Fiona Harvey is environmental correspondent for the Guardian newspaper in the UK.
Future Hazy as Climate Talks Continue The UN's Conference of Parties on Climate Change has been meeting for 17 years. In 1997, it produced the Kyoto Protocol , supposedly to hold industrial nations accountable for the impact of greenhouse emissions. But two years ago in Copenhagen, heads of state, including President Obama, could only produce a two-page, nonbinding agreement to help poor nations cope with climate change, and details are still being debated. The Kyoto pact will expire at the end of next year. This week, 195 countries are attending the latest so-called Earth Summit in Durban, South Africa. Will they save the Kyoto Protocol or allow it to expire even as the impacts of climate change are being felt all over the world?
Climate Change and Low Expectations The UN's Conference of Parties on Climate Change has been meeting for 17 years. In 1997, it produced the Kyoto Protocol , supposedly to hold industrial nations accountable for the impact of greenhouse emissions. But two years ago in Copenhagen, heads of state, including President Obama, could only produce a two-page, nonbinding agreement to help poor nations cope with climate change, and details are still being debated. The Kyoto pact will expire at the end of next year. This week, the latest so-called Earth Summit is underway in Durban, South Africa.
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