Industrialised nations to blame for millions of victims
840 dead, 3.5 million wounded, 500,000 disappeared, 10.3 million people affected as the worst storms on record sweep the planet. UN Environment Programme Director blames industrialised nations.
Klaus Topfer, Director of the UN Programme for the Environment, holds the governments of the world’s industrialised nations responsible for the disastrous events of the last week. “We must all fight together against this phenomenon. It will be good if there are no more doubts about the collective responsibility”.
He defends drastic reductions in CO2 emission by industrialised nations, claiming that the levels of pollution they produce are unfair to the whole planet. For example, Africa, which has 14% of the world’s population, produces only 3.2% of its atmospheric pollution.
He considers that “it is fundamental to find a balance to avoid that the efforts made to redress the evils are not offset by the appearance of newly developed nations”.
Gerhard Tim, President of BUND, the German Institute for the Protection of Nature and the Environment, agrees with Klaus Topfer, claiming that “man is to be held most responsible for the chaos in the climate. This will not be solved until there is an international agreement which is adhered to – the Protocol of Kyoto.
The EU has already made a firm commitment to reduce CO2 emission to 8% less than 1990 emission levels between 2008 and 2012. However, the United States, which produces 25% of the world’s atmospheric pollution, refuses to ratify Kyoto because it would be harmful to American industry. As yet, there is nothing but bickering and disagreement in the international community. At a time when severe floods and droughts affect large areas of the planet and global warming brings visitations such as West Nile Fever to the mainland United States, it appears that something more than discussion has to be done.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru