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Daily News

November 23, 2000

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Countries participating in talks on the Kyoto Protocol are seriously considerng a move to postpone decisionmaking on two key provisions of the treaty that would help countries achieve emissions reductions targets, observers and delegates to the talks say.

Activists and delegates say that decisionmaking on how to credit land use activites and the use of the so-called "flexibility mechanisms" will likely be put off until sometime next year, possibly within six months.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Environmentalists and delegates from other countries are accusing U.S. officials here of blocking progress on negotiations over implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, saying that the U.S. delegation has been unwilling to show enough flexibility in the talks.

While environmentalists argue that the U.S. has brought these talks to "the brink of failure," small island states charge the U.S. has stalled the negotiations by approaching the treaty's rules as an economic, rather than environmental matter.

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November 22, 2000

Delegates to talks on the climate treaty have narrowly averted a threatened walkout by developing nations, while U.S. officials are considering new language that could encourage the use of renewable energy projects under treaty's flexibility mechanisms and Greenpeace and climate skeptics duke it out.

Negotiators Avoid Walkout By Developing Nations, Begin High-Level Talks

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A group of Representatives are urging U.S. negotiators here to reject any effort to classify nuclear energy as clean or renewable under the Kyoto climate change treaty, saying the dangers and costs of such projects far outweigh any emissions reductions benefits nuclear energy may pose.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A perceived lack of commitment by the United States to achieve an agreement on implementation of the Kyoto treaty has led more than 100 European and U.S. environmentalists to storm portions of the The Netherlands Congress Center where the climate change talks are being held, causing disruptions that may lead organizers to call for restrictions on participation by nongovernmental representatives, including environmentalists.

At press time, at least 25 protesters were continuing to occupy a key meeting room.

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EPA has filed a motion with a federal court signaling an apparent breakdown in talks between the agency and diesel engine makers over possible modifications to a landmark Clean Air Act legal agreement.

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A bipartisan group of senators is throwing its support behind the Kyoto Protocol and efforts underway here to craft a workable treaty, and environmentalists are praising a climate friendly travel agency while developing nations have floated a new proposal for transferring climate technologies to poorer nations.

Bipartisan Senate Group Urges Progress On Kyoto Treaty

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) announced Nov. 22 that he has asked the Clinton administration to drop its support for emissions crediting for "business-as-usual" domestic activities related to land-use management, saying that recent U.S. proposals undermine the credibility of their position on other important issues, such as emissions trading.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The European Union (EU) says that their delegates and negotiators from other countries are no longer considering the United States' proposal for including partial emissions credits for forest management activities and instead are negotiating on a plethora of other proposals being floated by EU countries and developing nations.

"We're here in The Hague and that proposal is somewhere around Amsterdam," one EU official says.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Efforts here to craft implementing rules for the Kyoto Protocol remain deadlocked as international negotiators attempting to hammer out the most difficult and political aspects of the treaty are making little headway, observers to the talks say.

The lack of progress during this fortnight has even prompted Jan Pronk -- president of the Sixth Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change -- to say the impasse threatens "to sink the conference" altogether if the ministers cannot workout a deal.

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EPA has clarified for the first time a Clean Air Act requirement stating that only the federal government, not states, can approve continuous monitoring exemptions under acid rain control requirements. The clarification was issued in response to a petition by environmentalists in Wyoming who sought to reconsider operating permits approved by the state for two power plants.

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November 21, 2000

Russian and British officials may release a joint statement on climate change as a result of high level talks ongoing in Moscow, while a large group of House members have voiced their support for negotiations here and international activists are calling to a halt of World Bank energy projects.

Russia, UK May Joint Statement On Climate Change

Participants in negotiations over the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol say that the United Kingdom and Russia may make a joint statement on climate change as early as today.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands-- Environmentalists are blasting the United States congressional delegation to the Kyoto talks here, charging that the members represent some of the most environmentally unfriendly legislators in the U.S. Congress.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Environmentalists and industry officials alike say that U.S. negotiators are highly likely to bargain away the use of nuclear power in a key flexibility provision of the Kyoto treaty in their efforts to convince the European Union (EU) to accept the use of forest management activities as an offset for greenhouse gas emissions.

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EPA faces an expanding legal challenge to its water toxics standards, with municipal and industrial direct dischargers joining a host of facilities responsible for polluted runoff in attacking the rules.

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Canada environment officials are pressing Ontario to go further in its landmark plan to expand reporting requirements on air pollutants from power plants and other industrial sources, echoing claims from top New York officials that the province needs to take aggressive steps in reducing emissions that migrate over the border.

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EPA has decided to delay until next month landmark emission controls on mercury in order to include updated industry data. The standards are being developed for mercury-emitting chlorine production facilities, but the rule has attracted the attention of electric utility officials who say the controls may foreshadow standards on power plants. EPA is required under a court order to decided by the end of next month whether it will regulate mercury emissions from power plants.

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Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Chuk Hagel (R-NB) told reporters this week that they would not be in favor of an early vote by the Senate on the Kyoto Protocol that could mean the end of the agreement, while environmentalists alternatively condemning draft compliance text under the treaty and praising a climate-friendly travel agency.

Key Senators Oppose Early Vote On Kyoto Treaty

Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Chuck Hagel (R-NB) Nov. 20 told reporters they would oppose any effort to bring the Kyoto Protocol before the Senate for a quick ratification vote.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands-- The organization that first publicly announced findings of the global warming phenomenon announced Nov. 21 that climate change will likely result in a near tripling of urban heat related deaths.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that the United States can expect the number deaths from heat-related illness to rise from 1,500 deaths on annual average to 4,000 deaths by the year 2020.

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