The Al Gore piece of the UFO Puzzle has to do with the release of Alternative Technologies

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday the United States is “principally responsible” for blocking progress at U.N. climate conference.

Al Gore: “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”

Gore urged delegates at the conference to take urgent action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

“My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali,” he said. The United States has opposed including in a final conference document a suggestion that industrialized countries reduce emissions by between 25 percent and 40 percent by 2020.

European nations will boycott U.S.-led climate talks next month unless Washington accepts a range of numbers for negotiating deep reductions of global-warming emissions, Germany’s environment minister said Thursday.

“No result in Bali means no Major Economies Meeting,” said Sigmar Gabriel, a top EU environment official, referring to a series of separate climate talks initiated by President Bush in September.

The U.S. invited 16 other “major economies” to discuss a possible program of nationally determined, voluntary cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions, as opposed to the binding targets favored by the EU and others now meeting in Bali.

The U.N. climate chief warned Thursday that a deadlock between the United States and the European Union over emissions cuts threatened to derail talks aimed at launching negotiations for a new global warming pact.

“If we don’t get wording on the future, then the whole house of cards falls to pieces,” said Yvo de Boer, as a two-week U.N. climate conference entered the final stretch.

Washington has refused to accept language in a draft document that would allow negotiations for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol to consider asking industrialized nations to cut emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020.

The EU favors inclusion of specific targets in the document.

The conference is aimed at kick starting negotiations for a climate accord to succeed Kyoto when it expires in 2012.Video Watch as de Boer works the rounds at dinner to encourage fruitful talks.

The United States has insisted at the conference it was taking steps to tackle rising temperatures and that many of its actions to promote energy efficiency and switch to cleaner technologies were going unnoticed by the rest of the world.

U.S. delegates on the sidelines of the conference said America had spent more than any other country — $37 billion — since 2001 on climate change-combating activities and was working to boost the use of cleaner technology and help jump-start negotiations for an agreement that will replace the Kyoto protocol in 2012.

“We are so serious about this that we are pushing to conclude the negotiations within two years, by end of 2009,” said Jim Connaughton, the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“We also are serious enough that we are putting a major investment into technologies that we need tomorrow — how to produce power from coal with low emissions, how to power vehicles with low emissions. These are enormous undertakings and we have to be more aggressive with them,” he said.

The U.S. said it didn’t want to prejudge negotiations by agreeing to targets and maintained there are other options to lowering emissions. But most environmentalists listening Wednesday came away unconvinced.

They said the U.S. presentation — which promoted ramping up energy efficiency, nuclear power, renewable energy and biofuels to reduce climate change — failed to include necessary emission reduction targets or discussions on setting a price for carbon dioxide pollution.

They accused the Bush administration of hypocrisy for promoting cleaner energy options while at the same time threatening to veto an energy bill passed by the House of Representatives that includes requirements that electric utilities produce 15 percent of their power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

“The presentation was an impressive display of a variety of important initiatives, but the parts don’t add up to a meaningful whole if there is no leadership,” said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“What the United States desperately needs to do at these talks is make it very clear that we are ready to accept responsibility for our historic and current emissions and then help the rest of the world to the next round of binding commitments.”

Alexander Karsner, the U.S. assistant secretary of energy, said such criticism ignored what the United States is already doing.

For example, U.S. ethanol production has increased by 250 percent since 2000, he said, and new energy capacity coming on line from renewable sources has gone from 2 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2006.

The numbers for renewable energy additions were comparable to Germany and Japan, he said, and higher than many other European nations.

“I get a little confused when I hear the United States isn’t doing much. There is an enormous amount going on in the United States,” Karsner said. “Something is going terribly right in the United States with respect to the growth of renewable energy technology. We seek to make it better.”

This entry was posted in Latest News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.