Wiki Actu en

December 31, 2007

Wikinews\’ overview of the year 2007

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, December 31, 2007

Wikinews year overview 2007 animated.gif

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2007 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 year’s time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2007, what would the question be? The year that you first signed on to Facebook? The year Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse fell apart? The year author Kurt Vonnegut or mime Marcel Marceau died, both at 84?

Let’s take a look at some of the international stories of 2007. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in bold.

2007: the stories

Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal: Madeleine McCann goes missing

Madeleine McCann (3) disappeared on May 3 in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Initially, a local man called Robert Murat was mentioned as a suspect, although on August 7, Kate and Gerry McCann became suspects based on forensic evidence.

Wildfire photographed overnight in Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California.
Image: Jeff Turner.

Flag of the United States.svg United States: Virginia Tech shooting, California wildfires

On April 16, 33 dead, 15 injured in Virginia Tech shootings: A single gunman entered the campus and opened fire on students and faculty in two separate incidents, first in the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory, then again two hours later at the Norris Hall classroom building, killing 33 people, including himself. It became the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. The shooter was identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year old South Korean national. He was studying English and lived on the university campus. Between the two shootings, Cho sent a mail package to NBC News with his manifesto, pictures and videos.

In early September, adventurer Steve Fossett went missing. Fossett reportedly took off in a single engine plane to look for a suitable site in the Nevada playas for his planned land speed record attempt. His former crewmate and rival, Sir Richard Branson remained confident he would be found: “Steve is a tough old boot. I suspect he is waiting by his plane right now for someone to pick him up.”

On October 12, The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Nobel committee cited “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change” as the reasons for awarding the prize.

In late October, 1,000,000 fled their homes in California due to wildfires strengthened by the Santa Ana Winds. A state of emergency was declared by President Bush and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. At a last-minute FEMA press conference with regards to the wildfires, FEMA employees posed as reporters asking what were regarded as overly friendly questions.

Bills and coins.svgEconomy: Subprime mortgage crisis

Many banks in the USA saw their share prices falling after people were found to be unable to pay back many of their mortgages. The mortgages lent to people who may not be able to afford to pay back their loans are known as subprime mortgages.

This spread across the stock markets internationally and UK bank Northern Rock had thousands of people queuing outside their bank after they borrowed money from the Bank of England, which is known as “the lender of last resort.”

An Iraqi and American soldier conducting a raid in Baghdad. The graffiti on the wall reads “Allah is great”.

Flag of Iraq.svg Iraq: US troop surge

On January 10, 21,500 more troops to bring Operation Law and Order to Baghdad was made public. The U.S. forces began to collaborate more intensely with Iraqi troops.

On February 21, the UK and Denmark announced troop withdrawals from Iraq. “The next chapter in Basra’s history can be written by Iraqis,” said Tony Blair. Following a reduction in violence and troop deaths in the second half of 2007, the U.S. announced troop reductions in November. Meanwhile, Turkey said it would use military action against PKK rebels attacking the country from neighboring Iraq, which the U.S. pledged support for and “hoped to avoid”.

File:Kasparov arrested.jpg
Garry Kasparov gets arrested on May 17, 2007 at the Moscow Airport.
Image: 2007.urtea.

Flag of Russia.svg Russia: Vladimir Putin and Boris Yeltsin

Vladimir Putin was named “man of the year” by Time Magazine. He would finish his 2nd and last term as President in 2008, although he said he would accept to subsequently become Prime Minister. Under Putin, Russia strove to increase its position as a geopolitical superpower, for example by claiming the North Pole. During 2007 former chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov, now a political activist, drew the attention of the international media.

Boris Yeltsin, former president of Russia, died at 76 on April 23. Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: Бори́с Никола́евич Е́льцин) was the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999. The Yeltsin era was a traumatic period in Russian history— marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. Yeltsin maintained a low profile since his resignation, making almost no public statements or appearances. However, on February 1, 2006, Yeltsin celebrated his 75th birthday. He used this occasion as an opportunity to criticize a “monopolistic” United States foreign policy, and to state that Vladimir Putin was the right choice for Russia.

Flag of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan: opium production, David Hicks

More British troops were sent into Afghanistan, where the war that started after the 9/11 attacks continued with a large number of news events. In late August, it was reported that opium production in Afghanistan reached record highs. Australian David Hicks would become the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to be sentenced, after which he returned to an Australian prison to serve out his time and was released on December 29.

Flag of France.svg France: Sarko for President

May 6: Sarkozy wins 2007 French Presidential election, defeating Ségolène Royal. Both separated from their partners afterwards. Sarko’s style and self proclaimed openness is proved different from his predecessor Jacques Chirac. His confrontation with the unions came in the second half of November.

On October 30, the French NGO Zoe’s Ark was accused of trying to kidnap hundreds of Chadian children they described as Darfur orphans –Sarkozy travelled to Chad to hold talks with local officials.

Benazir Bhutto.

Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan: Bhutto assassinated

After a previous attack in October and house arrest, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack on 27th December, when an attacker fired 2 gun shots at her then exploded a bomb. This assassination occurred just weeks after Musharraf lifted the state of emergency that he had instated in November in his country. Her son and husband assumed her place at the top of the Pakistan People’s Party.

In March, Musharraf sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, but he was reinstated in July.

Ahmadinejad addresses the University.
Image: Daniella Zalcman.

Flag of Iran.svg Iran: President Ahmadinejad’s controversial rule

On March 23, Iran captured 15 members of the British Navy and held them for alleged espionage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pardoned them after 12 days, saying:

Cquote1.svg On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the great prophet of Islam, and on the occasion of Easter and Passover, I would like to announce that the great nation of Iran, while it is entitled to put the British military personnel on trial, has pardoned these 15 sailors and gives their release to the people of Britain as a gift. Cquote2.svg

While the President of Iran was in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly in September, he was invited to a controversial debate at Columbia University. When challenged by the University President about Iran’s treatment of LGBT’s, Ahmadinejad stated that: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” drawing laughter from the audience. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who has told you that we have it.”

The “Protect your Republic” protests.
Image: Miguel Carminati.

Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey: Hrant Dink and Abdullah Gül

On January 19, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of the Agos newspaper office where he worked as the editor. Dink was known for writing about the controversial issue of Armenian genocide and the mass killings of Armenians by Turks under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. His assassin was then treated by some Turkish security troops as a “national hero”.

In April and May, several large protests were held across the country by pro-secular Turks, out of fear that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would run for President, then due to concerns about Presidential Candidate Abdullah Gül, whose wife wears the islamic headscarf. Gül was not appointed in the first parliamentary round, when opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote. The opposition also appealed to the Constitutional Court to declare the process unlawful. General elections followed and Gül became President on August 28.

Monks protesting in Myanmar.
Image: racoles.

Flag of Myanmar.svg Burma: protests

In Myanmar (formerly Burma) government forces arrested hundreds of monks in September after several days of peaceful demonstrations, but despite the violent treatment from military personnel, the monks returned to the streets. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, had called “the continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and over one thousand political prisoners” unacceptable. Pro-democracy leaders were arrested and a death toll of more than 1000 was reported. In late October, Myanmar opposition leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi left her house arrest to meet with government official.

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom: Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair, floods, and lost discs

On June 24 this year Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair as leader of the UK labour party and therefore Prime Minister after a long period of time where reporters were predicting the date of Blair’s departure.

After this the UK was hit by its worst floods in 50 years. In late November, two computer disks were lost containing the entire Child Benefit database, estimated to contain the names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and sometimes the bank or building society account details of 25 million individuals, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

Northern Ireland: home rule, end of Troubles

Ian “Dr. No” Paisley and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness agreed to share power and have home rule return to Northern Ireland after four years of central rule from London. “I believe we’re starting on a road which will bring us back to peace and to prosperity,” said Paisley, who took the post of First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Just one day after a car bomb was defused in central London on June 29, a Jeep was driven into the Glasgow International Airport terminal and burst into flames in an unsuccessful terrorist attack. Several people aided the police in detaining the assailants, including baggage handler John Smeaton who received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions.

Australian-Election-2007.jpg

Flag of Australia.svg Australia: Kevin Rudd

On December 3, Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia after John Howard and the Liberal Party and Coalition were defeated in the election. After the ceremony, Mr. Rudd signed documents to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change calling it the first official act of the new Australian government.

Oxfam protesters dressed as and wearing masks of the G8 leaders.
Image: Craig Owen/Oxfam.

Flag of Germany.svg Germany: G8 summit in Heiligendamm

A post-Kyoto agreement on climate change and combating poverty in Africa were the main topics at the summit of the 7 richest industrialised countries and Russia in Heiligendamm in June.

While France and Germany were calling for quantifiable greenhouse gas emission cuts, the U.S. and Japan believed that growing economies such as India and China would need to join in on such efforts. Advocacy groups were critical about the aid promised to Africa: “Do they think we can’t read or count?” asked musician/activist Bono. “We are looking for accountable language and accountable numbers: we didn’t get them today.”

The G8 Summit was preceded by mass demonstrations, such as the one in Rostock, where several hundred protesters were arrested.

Flag of Finland.svg Finland: Jokela highschool shootings

Eight people were killed in a school shooting in Jokela, Finland. The shooter, an 18-year-old male student named as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, was arrested after a siege situation, but died due to a gunshot wound from an apparent suicide attempt. The killer had uploaded a home-made movie to YouTube announcing the “massacre” one day prior to the shooting. His profile featured several movies regarding an ongoing depression and unsuccessful treatment with SSRIs. Additionally, some movies of him shooting his new gun had been uploaded weeks prior to the shooting. Auvinen also had a personal website which featured images, music and documents, including a manifesto.

After the incident, Finland considered toughening gun legislation. Until then, Finland had actively resisted plans for all European Union member states to limit gun ownership to persons aged 18 and over. The law stipulated that Finns could apply for a gun permit at the age of 15.

Cristina de Kirchner next to Néstor Kirchner celebrating her electoral victory.
Image: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina.

Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina: Kirchner and Kirchner

Cristina Kirchner was the favourite candidate to succeed her husband as President. Néstor Kirchner decided not to run for a second four-year term, without giving an explanation. Mrs Kirchner consistently used her first name during her electoral campaign, which is a similarity to United States presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. However Cristina told the media: “I don’t want to be compared with Hillary Clinton or with Evita Perón, or with anybody… There’s nothing better than being yourself.”

Flag of Indonesia.svg Bali: Climate conference

The two-week long ended with an agreement on the so-called Bali roadmap, which was welcomed with cautious optimism. The roadmap details the process for a post-2012 climate change agreement. European Union Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated: “We have worked hard to achieve this result. It is a very important step forward.” The European Commissioner for Environment made it clear that Bali had only been the start of things: “Now the real hard work must begin. It is essential that the agreement to be worked out over the next two years is ambitious enough to prevent global warming from reaching dangerous levels.”

Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium: long government formation

More than half of the year in Belgium focused on politics, as the general elections on June 10 promised some difficult coalition talks. PM Verhofstadt recognised his defeat by Christian-Democrat Yves Leterme of Flanders, while the liberals broke the socialist hegemony in Wallonia. Orange-blue coalition talks failed to produce a government for 192 days, when it was Verhofstadt who gathered consensus for an interim government.

Earlier in the year, Belgium’s first black city registrar organised a mass wedding against racism that caught international media attention.

Flag of Canada.svg Canada: RCMP under scrutiny

The RCMP, received a negative spotlight in 2007, particularly for their handling of a distraught passenger at Vancouver International Airport in November.

Robert Dziekanski, 40, was immigrating from Pieszyce, Poland to live with his mother, Zofia Cisowski, in Kamloops, British Columbia. Since Dziekanski did not speak English airport security guards were unable to properly communicate with him. He started yelling at the airport staff because of this. He used chairs to prop open a door between a customs clearing area and a public lounge, he then threw a computer and threw a small table at a luggage section window. The police tasered him twice and he died.

Following the shooting deaths, in separate incidents, of two mounties stationed in northern communities, there were calls for policy changes related to how and when individual officers should call for back-up.

Flag of Italy.svgItaly: Pavarotti dies

One of the world’s best-regarded tenor singers, Luciano Pavarotti, died 6th September. His funeral drew thousands including Bono of U2, and fellow tenors Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. Pavarotti succumbed to pancreatic cancer which was diagnosed in July 2006.

Bills and coins.svgEconomy: Apple’s iPhone

In January, Apple announced its iPhone, which hit U.S. markets on July and made customers queue in the U.K. in November. Apple’s decision to lock the phone to use one network exclusively was criticized as “anti-competitive”, and hackers started circumnavigating the restrictions imposed on the phone.

Flag of Europe.svg European Union: Eastern-European expansion and Lisbon Treaty

On January 1, 2007, Slovenia adopted the euro currency, and Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union. In December, E.U. leaders signed the Treaty of Lisbon, a landmark document which is to redefine foreign policy for the E.U. and creates an E.U. president. The treaty is a replacement for the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe which was abandoned after suffering defeats in referendums in France and the Netherlands. United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived late and added his signature later.

P sport.png Sports: Formula One spying controversy

Following alleged espionage, McLaren (the team of Fernando Alonso and newcomer Lewis Hamilton) was initially cleared but then in September fined $100 million and excluded from the Constructor’s championship. The highly controversial and enthralling 2007 season came to an when Kimi Räikkönen won the 2007 Championship.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2007 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 year’s time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2007, what would the question be? The year that you first signed on to Facebook? The year Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse fell apart? The year author Kurt Vonnegut or mime Marcel Marceau died, both at 84?

Let’s take a look at some of the international stories of 2007. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in bold.

2007: the stories

Contents

Portugal: Madeleine McCann goes missing

Madeleine McCann (3) disappeared on May 3 in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Initially, a local man called Robert Murat was mentioned as a suspect, although on August 7, Kate and Gerry McCann became suspects based on forensic evidence.

Wildfire photographed overnight in Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California.
Image: Jeff Turner.

United States: Virginia Tech shooting, California wildfires

On April 16, 33 dead, 15 injured in Virginia Tech shootings: A single gunman entered the campus and opened fire on students and faculty in two separate incidents, first in the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory, then again two hours later at the Norris Hall classroom building, killing 33 people, including himself. It became the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. The shooter was identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year old South Korean national. He was studying English and lived on the university campus. Between the two shootings, Cho sent a mail package to NBC News with his manifesto, pictures and videos.

In early September, adventurer Steve Fossett went missing. Fossett reportedly took off in a single engine plane to look for a suitable site in the Nevada playas for his planned land speed record attempt. His former crewmate and rival, Sir Richard Branson remained confident he would be found: “Steve is a tough old boot. I suspect he is waiting by his plane right now for someone to pick him up.”

On October 12, The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Nobel committee cited “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change” as the reasons for awarding the prize.

In late October, 1,000,000 fled their homes in California due to wildfires strengthened by the Santa Ana Winds. A state of emergency was declared by President Bush and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. At a last-minute FEMA press conference with regards to the wildfires, FEMA employees posed as reporters asking what were regarded as overly friendly questions.

Economy: Subprime mortgage crisis

Many banks in the USA saw their share prices falling after people were found to be unable to pay back many of their mortgages. The mortgages lent to people who may not be able to afford to pay back their loans are known as subprime mortgages.

This spread across the stock markets internationally and UK bank Northern Rock had thousands of people queuing outside their bank after they borrowed money from the Bank of England, which is known as “the lender of last resort.”

An Iraqi and American soldier conducting a raid in Baghdad. The graffiti on the wall reads “Allah is great”.

Iraq: US troop surge

On January 10, 21,500 more troops to bring Operation Law and Order to Baghdad was made public. The U.S. forces began to collaborate more intensely with Iraqi troops.

On February 21, the UK and Denmark announced troop withdrawals from Iraq. “The next chapter in Basra’s history can be written by Iraqis,” said Tony Blair. Following a reduction in violence and troop deaths in the second half of 2007, the U.S. announced troop reductions in November. Meanwhile, Turkey said it would use military action against PKK rebels attacking the country from neighboring Iraq, which the U.S. pledged support for and “hoped to avoid”.

Garry Kasparov gets arrested on May 17, 2007 at the Moscow Airport.
Image: 2007.urtea.

Russia: Vladimir Putin and Boris Yeltsin

Vladimir Putin was named “man of the year” by Time Magazine. He would finish his 2nd and last term as President in 2008, although he said he would accept to subsequently become Prime Minister. Under Putin, Russia strove to increase its position as a geopolitical superpower, for example by claiming the North Pole. During 2007 former chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov, now a political activist, drew the attention of the international media.

Boris Yeltsin, former president of Russia, died at 76 on April 23. Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: Бори́с Никола́евич Е́льцин) was the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999. The Yeltsin era was a traumatic period in Russian history— marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. Yeltsin maintained a low profile since his resignation, making almost no public statements or appearances. However, on February 1, 2006, Yeltsin celebrated his 75th birthday. He used this occasion as an opportunity to criticize a “monopolistic” United States foreign policy, and to state that Vladimir Putin was the right choice for Russia.

Afghanistan: opium production, David Hicks

More British troops were sent into Afghanistan, where the war that started after the 9/11 attacks continued with a large number of news events. In late August, it was reported that opium production in Afghanistan reached record highs. Australian David Hicks would become the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to be sentenced, after which he returned to an Australian prison to serve out his time and was released on December 29.

France: Sarko for President

May 6: Sarkozy wins 2007 French Presidential election, defeating Ségolène Royal. Both separated from their partners afterwards. Sarko’s style and self proclaimed openness is proved different from his predecessor Jacques Chirac. His confrontation with the unions came in the second half of November.

On October 30, the French NGO Zoe’s Ark was accused of trying to kidnap hundreds of Chadian children they described as Darfur orphans –Sarkozy travelled to Chad to hold talks with local officials.

Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan: Bhutto assassinated

After a previous attack in October and house arrest, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack on 27th December, when an attacker fired 2 gun shots at her then exploded a bomb. This assassination occurred just weeks after Musharraf lifted the state of emergency that he had instated in November in his country. Her son and husband assumed her place at the top of the Pakistan People’s Party.

In March, Musharraf sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, but he was reinstated in July.

Ahmadinejad addresses the University.
Image: Daniella Zalcman.

Iran: President Ahmadinejad’s controversial rule

On March 23, Iran captured 15 members of the British Navy and held them for alleged espionage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pardoned them after 12 days, saying:

Wikinews' overview of the year 2007
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the great prophet of Islam, and on the occasion of Easter and Passover, I would like to announce that the great nation of Iran, while it is entitled to put the British military personnel on trial, has pardoned these 15 sailors and gives their release to the people of Britain as a gift.
Wikinews' overview of the year 2007

While the President of Iran was in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly in September, he was invited to a controversial debate at Columbia University. When challenged by the University President about Iran’s treatment of LGBT‘s, Ahmadinejad stated that: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” drawing laughter from the audience. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who has told you that we have it.”

The “Protect your Republic” protests.
Image: Miguel Carminati.

Turkey: Hrant Dink and Abdullah Gül

On January 19, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of the Agos newspaper office where he worked as the editor. Dink was known for writing about the controversial issue of Armenian genocide and the mass killings of Armenians by Turks under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. His assassin was then treated by some Turkish security troops as a “national hero”.

In April and May, several large protests were held across the country by pro-secular Turks, out of fear that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would run for President, then due to concerns about Presidential Candidate Abdullah Gül, whose wife wears the islamic headscarf. Gül was not appointed in the first parliamentary round, when opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote. The opposition also appealed to the Constitutional Court to declare the process unlawful. General elections followed and Gül became President on August 28.

Monks protesting in Myanmar.
Image: racoles.

Burma: protests

In Myanmar (formerly Burma) government forces arrested hundreds of monks in September after several days of peaceful demonstrations, but despite the violent treatment from military personnel, the monks returned to the streets. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, had called “the continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and over one thousand political prisoners” unacceptable. Pro-democracy leaders were arrested and a death toll of more than 1000 was reported. In late October, Myanmar opposition leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi left her house arrest to meet with government official.

United Kingdom: Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair, floods, and lost discs

On June 24 this year Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair as leader of the UK labour party and therefore Prime Minister after a long period of time where reporters were predicting the date of Blair’s departure.

After this the UK was hit by its worst floods in 50 years. In late November, two computer disks were lost containing the entire Child Benefit database, estimated to contain the names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and sometimes the bank or building society account details of 25 million individuals, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

Northern Ireland: home rule, end of Troubles

Ian “Dr. No” Paisley and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness agreed to share power and have home rule return to Northern Ireland after four years of central rule from London. “I believe we’re starting on a road which will bring us back to peace and to prosperity,” said Paisley, who took the post of First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Just one day after a car bomb was defused in central London on June 29, a Jeep was driven into the Glasgow International Airport terminal and burst into flames in an unsuccessful terrorist attack. Several people aided the police in detaining the assailants, including baggage handler John Smeaton who received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions.

Australia: Kevin Rudd

On December 3, Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia after John Howard and the Liberal Party and Coalition were defeated in the election. After the ceremony, Mr. Rudd signed documents to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change calling it the first official act of the new Australian government.

Oxfam protesters dressed as and wearing masks of the G8 leaders.
Image: Craig Owen/Oxfam.

Germany: G8 summit in Heiligendamm

A post-Kyoto agreement on climate change and combating poverty in Africa were the main topics at the summit of the 7 richest industrialised countries and Russia in Heiligendamm in June.

While France and Germany were calling for quantifiable greenhouse gas emission cuts, the U.S. and Japan believed that growing economies such as India and China would need to join in on such efforts. Advocacy groups were critical about the aid promised to Africa: “Do they think we can’t read or count?” asked musician/activist Bono. “We are looking for accountable language and accountable numbers: we didn’t get them today.”

The G8 Summit was preceded by mass demonstrations, such as the one in Rostock, where several hundred protesters were arrested.

Finland: Jokela highschool shootings

Eight people were killed in a school shooting in Jokela, Finland. The shooter, an 18-year-old male student named as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, was arrested after a siege situation, but died due to a gunshot wound from an apparent suicide attempt. The killer had uploaded a home-made movie to YouTube announcing the “massacre” one day prior to the shooting. His profile featured several movies regarding an ongoing depression and unsuccessful treatment with SSRIs. Additionally, some movies of him shooting his new gun had been uploaded weeks prior to the shooting. Auvinen also had a personal website which featured images, music and documents, including a manifesto.

After the incident, Finland considered toughening gun legislation. Until then, Finland had actively resisted plans for all European Union member states to limit gun ownership to persons aged 18 and over. The law stipulated that Finns could apply for a gun permit at the age of 15.

Cristina de Kirchner next to Néstor Kirchner celebrating her electoral victory.
Image: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina.

Argentina: Kirchner and Kirchner

Cristina Kirchner was the favourite candidate to succeed her husband as President. Néstor Kirchner decided not to run for a second four-year term, without giving an explanation. Mrs Kirchner consistently used her first name during her electoral campaign, which is a similarity to United States presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. However Cristina told the media: “I don’t want to be compared with Hillary Clinton or with Evita Perón, or with anybody… There’s nothing better than being yourself.”

Bali: Climate conference

The two-week long ended with an agreement on the so-called Bali roadmap, which was welcomed with cautious optimism. The roadmap details the process for a post-2012 climate change agreement. European Union Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated: “We have worked hard to achieve this result. It is a very important step forward.” The European Commissioner for Environment made it clear that Bali had only been the start of things: “Now the real hard work must begin. It is essential that the agreement to be worked out over the next two years is ambitious enough to prevent global warming from reaching dangerous levels.”

Belgium: long government formation

More than half of the year in Belgium focused on politics, as the general elections on June 10 promised some difficult coalition talks. PM Verhofstadt recognised his defeat by Christian-Democrat Yves Leterme of Flanders, while the liberals broke the socialist hegemony in Wallonia. Orange-blue coalition talks failed to produce a government for 192 days, when it was Verhofstadt who gathered consensus for an interim government.

Earlier in the year, Belgium’s first black city registrar organised a mass wedding against racism that caught international media attention.

Canada: RCMP under scrutiny

The RCMP, received a negative spotlight in 2007, particularly for their handling of a distraught passenger at Vancouver International Airport in November.

Robert Dziekanski, 40, was immigrating from Pieszyce, Poland to live with his mother, Zofia Cisowski, in Kamloops, British Columbia. Since Dziekanski did not speak English airport security guards were unable to properly communicate with him. He started yelling at the airport staff because of this. He used chairs to prop open a door between a customs clearing area and a public lounge, he then threw a computer and threw a small table at a luggage section window. The police tasered him twice and he died.

Following the shooting deaths, in separate incidents, of two mounties stationed in northern communities, there were calls for policy changes related to how and when individual officers should call for back-up.

Italy: Pavarotti dies

One of the world’s best-regarded tenor singers, Luciano Pavarotti, died 6th September. His funeral drew thousands including Bono of U2, and fellow tenors Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. Pavarotti succumbed to pancreatic cancer which was diagnosed in July 2006.

Economy: Apple’s iPhone

In January, Apple announced its iPhone, which hit U.S. markets on July and made customers queue in the U.K. in November. Apple’s decision to lock the phone to use one network exclusively was criticized as “anti-competitive”, and hackers started circumnavigating the restrictions imposed on the phone.

European Union: Eastern-European expansion and Lisbon Treaty

On January 1, 2007, Slovenia adopted the euro currency, and Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union. In December, E.U. leaders signed the Treaty of Lisbon, a landmark document which is to redefine foreign policy for the E.U. and creates an E.U. president. The treaty is a replacement for the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe which was abandoned after suffering defeats in referendums in France and the Netherlands. United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived late and added his signature later.

Sports: Formula One spying controversy

Following alleged espionage, McLaren (the team of Fernando Alonso and newcomer Lewis Hamilton) was initially cleared but then in September fined $100 million and excluded from the Constructor’s championship. The highly controversial and enthralling 2007 season came to an when Kimi Räikkönen won the 2007 Championship.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Review of the Year”. Observer Magazine, December 23, 2007


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 27, 2007

Wikinews interviews Christoph Bals of the NGO Germanwatch after conclusion of climate conference

Wikinews interviews Christoph Bals of the NGO Germanwatch after conclusion of climate conference

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
 
Correction — February 25, 2008
 
Translation problems from German to English, see Talk page.
 

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cquote1.svg A year ago I would have found the current outcome almost revolutionary. … A lot has been achieved, but the biggest hurdles are still in front of us. Cquote2.svg

—Christoph Bals, Senior Political Executive of Germanwatch

With the Climate Conference in Bali having come to a successful conclusion, Wikinews journalist Sean Heron interviewed Christoph Bals from the German NGO Germanwatch on his opinion of the outcome, and an outlook on the future negotiations. Christoph is the Senior Political Executive of Germanwatch, Co-Author of the Climate protection-Index and did lobby work on Bali.

The interview

Introduction to Germanwatch

Wikinews: Could you explain what defines the organization Germanwatch and what your targets are?

Christoph Bals: Germanwatch is a non governmental organization (NGO) that has the environment and north south justice/fairness as its main topics. We don’t actually execute any projects in the south, but lend issues that are of relevance to the south – the so called developing nations – a voice towards politics, the economy and on the financial market.

WN: Could you go into more specifics on what it is you do on climate change?

CB: Climate Change is one of our main topics. Both the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change is important. For these two issues we engage ourselves both with regard to Germany and the least developed countries (LDCs). We are intensively involved in national and international political processes, building up pressure on politicians and economic players and/or working constructively with them, depending on how greater achievements are to be made.

The Negotiations in Bali

WN: The next question, which is very much at hand, is of course how Germanwatch views the outcome of the negotiations? Have your expectations been fulfilled?

CB: We haven’t been able to write in the reduction targets that we would have needed. But these targets can still be achieved in the negotiating framework that the Roadmap has put down. The biggest obstacle here were the United States. It won’t be possible to agree to targets with this administration, but hopefully, in two years and with the next administration, we’ll be able to agree to the necessary global targets.
Cquote1.svg It is to be hoped for … that a coalition of progressive industrial nations, least developed countries … and newly industrialized countries – for example China, Mexico, South Africa, India – support this. There were first signs for such a development in Bali. Cquote2.svg

—Christoph Bals

WN: Would you have expected this outcome yesterday? Or a year ago?

CB: A year ago I would have found the current outcome almost revolutionary. Compared with my expectations before the negotiation it’s different though; I then still had the hope that there would be more extensive progress at the end of this climate year. If you look at the packages that have been agreed on: technology transfer and development, adaptation to climate change, financial mechanisms, forest protection; then you can see that quite a substantial process has been started. So a lot has been achieved, but the biggest hurdles are still in front of us.
What could cause some dynamics is that you need money for all these packages, and you can only really get that through strong reduction targets. Be it Climate charges or taxes, auctioning of emission certificates, or a sort of Tobin tax on international emissions trading. That leads to those nations that want money out of the packages having an incentive to work for stronger reduction targets. It is to be hoped for that movement for strong emission targets as well as for the financing of technologies, forest protection and adaptation measures develops. And that a coalition of progressive industrial nations, least developed countries (the so called LDCs) and newly industrialized countries – for example China, Mexico, South Africa, India – support this. There were first signs for such a development in Bali.

Outlook on the next two years

WN: How do things continue after this conference? What’s the course of events until the Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009?

CB: The four packages climate protection targets, adaptation to climate change, accelerated commercial launching of the necessary technologies and financing of technology, forest protection and adaptation have to be negotiated in detail now. Next year there will be four rounds of negotiations. The final conclusion is to be reached by the end of 2009, at the climate summit in Copenhagen.

WN: What needs to happen in this period of time in your opinion? What do the agreements that are hopefully to be reached need to look like?

CB: The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, so that a warming of more than 2°C (35.6 F) is averted, is central. The global average temperatures mustn’t rise above 2°C in comparison with pre-industrial levels. We call this the aversion of the uncopeable, as the risks of such a warming would be simply too great.
To achieve this goal a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50-85% by 2050 is necessary. For the middle term this means that the peak of global emissions needs to be reached in 10-15 years and that the output is cut considerably year after year from then onwards. The group of industrialized nations have to reduce their emissions by 25-40% till 2020 (compared to 1990 baselines) on average to make this possible.
Regarding adaptation, what we call coping with the inadvertable, the scale of funding is going to have to change. Roughly US$50 billion a year are going to be required.
Cquote1.svg We shouldn’t think that the problem is just in the U.S., even if it is to be seen most clearly there. Many of us [Germans/Europeans] don’t realize what the necessary emission cuts mean. Cquote2.svg

—Christoph Bals

WN: What do you see as (the biggest) obstacle(s) on the way to such an agreement? You’ve already mentioned the current U.S. administration.

CB: We shouldn’t think that the problem is just in the U.S., even if it is to be seen most clearly there. Many of us [Germans / Europeans] don’t realize what the necessary emission cuts mean. If we really want to achieve greenhouse gas reductions of the magnitude I have just described, we first need to become conscious of the fact that the wealth of the industrial nations is build on CO2. From the steam engine over coal power plants, the chemical industry up to cars and airplanes, the whole model of wealth is built up on fossil fuels and thus also CO2 emissions. Up until now more wealth also meant more emitted CO2. We now need to move towards an almost emission free model of wealth in large steps. And the role of leader seems to fall to Europe. If Europe manages to show it, the chances of the large newly industrialized nations following that lead rise enormously.

Possibilities for individuals to act

WN: Finally I, and perhaps the readers as well, are interested in how people at home can take a positive influence on the process?

CB: Well first, there is the possibility to engage yourself politically, working in an NGO like Germanwatch being the only option in that. What is encouraging in this area are the notable things that have already been achieved by an informed public. To name an example, the planning of multiple coal power plants has been stopped in recent times, just as well thanks to public pressure.
It should also be clear to everyone, that every banknote is also a ballot paper, with which you can decide for more or less emissions. For almost any way of spending money – be it groceries or mobility – there are climate compatible and non compatible choices. I can fly or take the train, or – if the later is not possible – at least compensate the warming effects via sites such as atmosfair.de.
But even when I save money, it’s up to me if it works for or against climate sustainability. For every investment possible, by now there are also options that support the protection of the climate – often without needing to forgo returns. The money I put on the bank is used for investments and projects that contribute to or undermine the sustainability of our economic system.

WN: Does that mean the demand for a climate compatible life style?

CB: It’s not about one climate compatible life style. It’s more of a case of a climate compatible variant needing to be developed for each of the different life styles that exist in our society. The people in our society don’t need to become uniform. Some will focus on protecting the climate through technical innovations and will bring their house up to the most recent level of efficiency, and massively use renewable energies. Others will see an increase in wealth in not having a car, instead buying a “Bahncard 100” [This is a flat rate for a years rail travel in Germany, at a cost of 3500 Euro, ed.] which also lets you take your kids along for free, and focus on a slower more conscious life. We don’t need to prescribe one life style, what is necessary is to advance every life style variant in a climate compatible way

WN: Thank you for the interview and your time.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 13, 2007

EU may see no reason to go to next major emitters meeting

EU may see no reason to go to next major emitters meeting

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stavros Dimas at a press conference today stated that the European Union would not view it as necessary to attend the major emitters meeting (MEM) if no substantial agreement was reached at the climate change conference in Bali. His statement was made after being asked about rumours of the EU boycotting the US held MEM. He said that he had mentioned the preceding point of view in the presence of an under-secretary of the US government at a business breakfast this morning. He answered to a later question that he felt disappointed at the current stance of the US government, and wished clarity for the moment.

According to a press release by Greenpeace, the German environmental minister Sigmar Gabriel also declared to the press that the EU would not be taking part in the scheduled MEM in January if substantial progress was not made. Amongst other points that are currently being discussed, one which is often referred to is that of whether or not a guideline frame for emissions reductions is to be included in the preamble of one of the final documents. The proposed frame is 25-40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized nations (known as Annex I nations in UNFCCC parlance), from 1990 baselines. The US is amongst the relatively small number of nations, including Canada and Japan, that are opposed to this.

Asked what he knew of the matter at an earlier press conference, Yvo de Boer of the UNFCCC stated that Stavros Dimas, the European Commissioner for the Environment, had voiced his opinion that if no agreement is reached now, than there would be no need for the Major Emitting nations meeting to be held, because, so he apparently stated, the MEM is meant to feed into the UN process, and you could not feed something into nothing.

The talks being held in Bali are expected to lead to a roadmap for negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions caps for after 2012, which is when the current first phase of the Kyoto protocol is going to run out. Multiple parties, observers, and the top UN executive of the Climate Change branch all had expressed their hope that this roadmap would also include a target date of 2009 for the conclusion of negotiations. The major emitters meeting is a convention of those nations that have the greatest greenhouse gas emissions, and was held for the first time at the invitation of the US in Autumn this year.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 12, 2007

Greenhouse-gas emission targets may come later says Ban Ki-moon

Greenhouse-gas emission targets may come later says Ban Ki-moon

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon
Image: Marcello Casal Jr./ABr.

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon says setting greenhouse-gas emission targets may have to wait until after the U.N. Climate Change Conference being held in Bali.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters it may be too “ambitious” to set targets for greenhouse-gas emissions in the draft text of an agreement aimed at replacing the Kyoto Protocol to stop global warming.

Delegates from about 190 nations, now holding high-level meetings, are split over whether targets should be set now or later. Mr. Ban recognizes the divisions.

“Frankly speaking, realistically, it may be too ambitious if delegates would expect to be able to agree on target of greenhouse gas emission reduction,” he said. “But, as I told you, some time down the road we will have to agree on that.”

Ministers and heads of states, in a series of speeches, urged nations to lower greenhouse gas emissions. These gases, particularly those caused by the burning of fuels, are believed by many scientists to contribute to global warming.

Leaders said rich nations should make the first cuts and help poorer nations to develop clean technology.

The United States strongly opposes emission targets, as do Japan and Canada. U.S. officials say including emission targets would prejudge negotiations expected over the next two years to find a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

But the European Union and environmentalists say setting emission targets in the draft will show that industrialized nations are serious about the fight against global warming.

The U.S. under-secretary of state for democracy and global affairs, Paula Dobriansky, who is heading the U.S. delegation to Bali, says Washington is committed to seeing an agreement reached at the Bali conference.

“We are very committed to working toward a successful outcome here in Bali. We want to launch a process that is open and does not predetermine or preclude options,” she said. “We have been listening carefully to the perspectives of others and will continue to do so in the days ahead. We hope to identify a way forward that will bridge our differences and bring us together on common pursuit of our shared goal of addressing climate change.”

The text of the conference draft is expected to undergo several revisions before being finalized Friday. It calls for industrialized nations to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by between 25 to 40 percent by the year 2020.

The Bali conference is expected to end on Friday.


Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 10, 2007

Nobel prize winner Al Gore urges US and China to do more about global warming

Nobel prize winner Al Gore urges US and China to do more about global warming

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, December 10, 2007

Al Gore accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today.
Image: Kjetil Bjørnsrud.

Global warming campaigner and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore says it is time for humanity to stop “waging war” on planet Earth.

Gore spoke today in Oslo after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. He urged the two largest carbon-emitting countries – the United States and China – to make what he called the “boldest moves” to fight global warming.

The United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international pact that requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. China was not required to reduce emissions under the deal. They also refused today to approve a new treaty designed to cut emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020.

Gore said he would go to the U.N. climate meeting in Bali later this week to urge world leaders to meet as often as every three months to enact a global cap on greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.

Gore shared the 2007 Nobel prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, represented at today’s ceremony by Rajendra Pachauri.

Pachauri stressed the link between the fight against climate change and peace. He warned that severe climate change will trigger what he called “dramatic population migration,” as well as war over water and other resources.

He also warned that up to 250 million people in Africa could face what he called “increased water stress because of climate change.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 8, 2007

Forest preservation plan debated at climate talks

Forest preservation plan debated at climate talks

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Inside the conference centre.
Image: Oxfam International.

Delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Indonesia are wrestling with a proposal that would allow developing nations to earn billions of dollars through carbon trading by leaving idle forests such as those in Borneo, the Amazon and Congo basins.

The news comes on the same day that it was announced that forest clearance in the Amazon Rainforest was falling compared to previous years.

Delegates from about 190 countries are negotiating a plan for private companies and wealthy nations to pay poorer nations to keep their forest intact. It is called the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries, or REDD proposal.

Environmental scientists say tree cutting in tropical areas accounts for about 20 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. Tropical forests soak up vast amounts of carbon dioxide; burning timber to clear land releases it.

Marcelo Furtado with Greenpeace in Brazil says the REDD plan is needed to fill gaps in the current Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases which does not include ways to preserve forests.

“We would like to see, at the very least, a REDD mechanism moving forward, because we want to see countries taking action now. We don’t want to wait to 2013 to start seeing this action taking place. And this is something this convention, this group of countries could deliver,” said Furtado.

Frances Seymour, Director General for the Indonesia-based Center for International Forest Research, is concerned a premature REDD agreement could do more harm than good.

Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior arriving in Bali yesterday for the UN climate conference.
Image: OpenDemocracy.

“Because in many forested countries, land tenure rights to forest lands and resources are either unclear or contested or both. And you can imagine that if a potential new income stream is available for those who can present themselves as owners of the forest, this could create conflict and create conditions under which some of the world’s poorest people, who are people who live in forests, could be pushed aside,” said Seymour.

Financial analysts are also cautious about the proposal.

Charlotte Streck, the director of Climate Focus, a Rotterdam-based consultancy, said investors are worried about how governments would monitor their forests and ensure the carbon stored in them remains intact.

“This is what makes the private sector nervous, because these are risks that they cannot hedge properly, and that they cannot evaluate in the same manner as the project related risks,” she said.

Conference delegates are still debating how to monitor the world’s remaining tropical forests, how to stop logging in one place without shifting the problem to another area, and how to estimate the amount of carbon in a piece of land.

Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s climate change chief, said a REDD agreement is unlikely during this conference, but a group working on the details is making significant progress.



Sources


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 7, 2007

Climate change talks continue in Bali

Climate change talks continue in Bali – Wikinews, the free news source

Climate change talks continue in Bali

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, December 7, 2007

Inside the conference centre.
Image: Oxfam International.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali is nearing its halfway mark. Senior delegates are hopeful an international agreement will be reached on how to control harmful climate emissions when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, but environmental activists fear the talking is taking too long.

Delegates in Bali hope to begin drafting a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to contain rising global temperatures. Many scientists believe the emissions contribute to a rise in global temperatures.

Yvo de Boer, the United Nations’ climate change chief, told reporters Friday that over the past two days, the mood at negotiations has been positive.

Asked to provided a concrete example of progress, he said a special working group of delegates has agreed that any future agreement should include ways to encourage countries such as China and India to develop environmentally friendly practices as their industries and economies grow.

“So they’ve gone into an in-depth discussion on mitigation, and have come to the conclusion that really a strong focus needs to be on putting in place incentives for developing countries to mitigate climate change. That came up very strongly. That, to me at least, is a good indication that the mood is good, people are at work,” said de Boer.

But environmentalists have not been as optimistic about progress in this week’s negotiations.

Also today the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior arrived in Bali.

Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior arrives in Bali for the UN climate conference.
Image: OpenDemocracy.

Earlier this week, Japan took a position similar to the United States in proposing that any new agreement should favor voluntary emissions targets instead of mandatory ones. The two nations believe that binding emissions caps would threaten the economic growth needed to fund technology used to fight global warming.

Hans Verlome, director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Change Program, urged the U.S., Japan and others to take more decisive action in light of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that found global warming is occurring and is likely caused by humans.

“We did not come to Bali to just have another process, and we have two years of talks. It is time to get on with it,” said Verlome. “The IPCC report has delivered the results that are necessary to inform decision making, and the decision making is here, now.”

Verlome and other environmentalists say China has taken a leading role in negotiations this week. China wants wealthy countries to help spread technology for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in poor countries.

Harlan Watson of the U.S. delegation reaffirmed his country’s opposition to mandatory caps on carbon emissions, but said the U.S. would be open and flexible.

“The U.S. is committed to advancing negotiations, and developing a Bali roadmap, that will guide negotiations on a new post-2012 global climate change regime that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable,” he said.

Delegates are on schedule to begin drafting proposals early next week. Environment and trade ministers are scheduled to meet over the next few days.



Sources


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 6, 2007

Scientists take strong stance for cutting emissions at Climate Conference in Bali

Scientists take strong stance for cutting emissions at Climate Conference in Bali

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Climate change research centre logo.jpg

A group of over 200 scientists have signed a document demanding that political action be taken following the scientific evidence that had been put forth in the last International report on climate change. The document, that had been drafted by the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, was presented today at the United Nations Convention on Climate change, the scientists wanting to give a strong signal to the currently ongoing negotiations.

Unlike the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which tries to assess the current situation and what the future trends are, the 2007 Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists makes explicit recommendations to policy makers. These are twofold, one regarding the current Conference, and one future goals. On the talks here at Bali, the Declaration says it is necessary that “a new global climate treaty […] needs to begin in December 2007 and be completed by 2009”. It went on to say that “The primary goal of this new regime must be to limit global warming to no more than 2 °C”, and that emissions would need to be cut to 40% or less than 2004 levels in order to be able to reach that goal.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Asked by which means these reductions could be achieved, Professor Richard Somerville from the United States answered that only a combination of technological advances and lifestyle changes would be sufficient to attain the proposed emission levels.

The declaration, which is only about a page long, and its signatory list can be found at the Climate Change Research Centre’s website (see below).



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

US Senate Panel approves bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

US Senate Panel approves bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The US Capitol building
Image: Kmccoy.

A United States Senate committee has passed landmark legislation aimed at combating global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions. The vote was timed to coincide with the U.N. conference on climate change taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

The bill would set caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from electric utility, transportation and manufacturing industries beginning in 2012 with the goal of cutting emissions 60 percent by 2050. It would create an incentive system that would give credits to industries that cut pollution. Industries that failed to reduce emissions would be forced to buy credits from others.

The Democratic-led Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted eleven to eight, largely along party lines, to send the measure to the full Senate for what supporters hope will be action early next year.

“We are facing a crisis that will hit our children and our grandchildren the hardest if we do not act now. Not to act would be wrong, cowardly, and irresponsible,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, a Californian Democrat, chairwoman of the committee.

Senator Boxer, who is expected to travel to Bali as part of a U.S. congressional delegation next week, said committee approval of the bill sends a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is serious about reducing global warming.

But many Republicans oppose the legislation, saying it would increase energy costs and lead to job losses. They argue the measure does not ensure that other nations, particularly China and India, will cut emissions.

“China’s emission will continue to accelerate as it builds coal plants and imports jobs from the United States. This will be enormously expensive to households within seven years as electricity prices skyrocket by 35 to 65 percent,” said Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the committee.

But co-sponsor Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, who broke with many in his party to support the measure, offered a different view: “If we do not act, China and India will hide behind America’s skirts of inaction and take no steps of their own. Therefore we simply have to lead,” he said.

The House of Representatives has yet to draft its own version of the legislation.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »
<< Powered b(a href="h'tp://enwordpress.org/'itle="A'Powered b(aWordPress, state-of-the-art semantic pers p elpublishi>g plasform.'>WordPressa>

<<
typ"A'text/javascrip>' srch'tp://en.wikiactu.com/?cwp-includes/js/wp-embed.min.js?ver=4.6.8'> <