partlycloudy
Friday July 3rd, 2015 9:45PM

UN chief blames rich for warming

By The Associated Press
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Rich countries are to blame for climate change and should take the lead in forging a global climate pact by 2015, a deadline that "must be met," the head of the United Nations said Wednesday.

On the sidelines of international climate talks in Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was "only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility" in fighting the gradual warming of the planet.

Ban's comments echoed the concerns of China and other developing countries, which say rich nations have a historical responsibility for global warming because their factories released carbon emissions into the atmosphere long before the climate effects were known.

"The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialization of the developed world," Ban said. "It's only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility."

Many rich nations including the U.S. and European Union say the firewall between developed and developing countries that has guided the two-decade-old climate process in the past no longer reflects the world today and isn't helpful in dealing with the problem.

Most of the emissions now come from the developing world, and China has overtaken the U.S. to become the world's top carbon polluter.

How to divide the burden of emissions cuts is at the core of discussions to create a new global climate treaty that would apply to all nations. The only binding pact so far, the Kyoto Protocol, only covers the emissions of industrialized countries.

Last year, governments decided that the new treaty should be adopted in 2015 and enter force five years later. The Doha meeting is supposed to produce a work plan to ensure that the treaty is ready by 2015.

"This deadline must be met. There is no time to waste, no time to lose for us," Ban said.

"Climate change is happening much, much faster than one would understand," he added. "The science has plainly made it clear: it is the human beings' behavior which caused climate change, therefore the solution must come from us."

Ban came to the negotiations in Doha in an attempt to "accelerate the process" of shifting the world to a clean energy pathway, and helping the most vulnerable countries adapt to inevitable warming.

Governments represented at the talks in Qatar are also discussing extending the Kyoto Protocol, which expires this year, as a stopgap measure until the new deal takes effect.

The United States never joined the Kyoto Protocol, partly because it didn't cover emerging economies like China and India. For similar reasons, Canada, New Zealand and Japan don't want to be part of the extension, meaning it would only cover Europe and Australia, who account for less than 15 percent of global emissions.

Nevertheless, Ban said it is "imperative" that the treaty is extended, because it is "the only existing legally binding commitment when it comes to climate change."

Dangerous climate effects could include flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.

A small minority of scientists still question whether the warming seen in recent decades is due to human activities, such as carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. On Tuesday, Ban said it was time to "prove wrong all these doubts on climate change."

Global warming skeptic John Christy of the University of Alabama said Ban's statement was "representative of a religion, not science."

"Science requires questioning (i.e. skepticism) those who wish to stifle debate using arguments from authority (not arguments from evidence)," Christy wrote in an email.

In 2010, a survey of more than 1,000 of the most cited and published climate scientists found that 97 percent of them believe climate change is very likely caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Budget battle sends mixed signals on health care
Confused about the federal budget struggle? So are doctors, hospital administrators and other medical professionals who serve the 100 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
6:20PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said."The single most important step fo...
8:25PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m.An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of reside...
6:05PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state...
5:36PM ( 1 day ago )
Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clin...
5:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Top Republican doubts Senate will confirm ambassador to Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that his chamber is unlikely to approve an American ambassador to Cuba, dishing out a quick rebuff to President Barack Obama and...
4:28PM ( 1 day ago )