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Fred Krupp (ED) on global warming and COP-6 failure


Climate Change Conference Ends in Deadlock.

You answered an emergency alert from Environmental Defense last week, sending faxes to President Clinton urging him to break the deadlock at the International Climate Change Treaty negotiations at the Hague. Following your efforts, which generated nearly 5,000 letters, the President did attempt to persuade the Europeans to support an agreement. In the end, the EU negotiators were unable to persuade other members of the EU to accept the proposal and the negotiations ended in deadlock on Saturday. The talks were suspended without an agreement on rules to implement the Kyoto Protocol climate change treaty.

Environmental Defense has strongly criticized international negotiators for failing to seize an obvious opportunity to reach agreement on the Kyoto Protocol climate change treaty. Two weeks of negotiations ended in deadlock early Saturday morning when the European Union balked at accepting a compromise offer from the United States that would have strengthened some of the most environmentally important aspects of the Protocol. As a result, international efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution contributing to global warming will be dangerously slowed.


"The US began the negotiations by making unrealistic demands. At the end, the Europeans fumbled in the face of a US attempt at compromise", said Fred Krupp, executive director of Environmental Defense. "The failure by both sides squandered a unique opportunity to craft thoughtful and lasting solutions to the looming specter of global warming. Given how close the negotiators came to the brink of success here, the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol must reconvene as early as possible in 2001, set aside their parochial interests, and get the work done needed to preserve our planet's future."

"The 1990s, likely the hottest decade of the past thousand years, capped decades of shrinking glaciers, thinning Arctic ice, intensifying rainstorms, and rising seas. Given the risks posed by these changes, Parties should stop squabbling and start searching for a pathway out of the growing climate crisis," said Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense senior scientist. "The world must end its dependence on fossil fuels that are too dirty and too expensive. Governments must take action now."


"The scientific consensus on global warming is clear, as is the need for decisive action. It's shameful that governments are failing to act in the public interest on this vitally important issue," said Joe Goffman, Environmental Defense senior attorney.

For more information on climate change and Environmental Defense's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world, visit:


Fred Krupp
Executive Director
Environmental Defense

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