Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Climate Change Convention

Representatives from the 156 countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol are meeting in Montreal, Canada this week to talk about solving the global warming problem. The Kyoto Protocol calls for a 7 % reduction in greenhouse gases below the 1990 level by 2012. The U.S. refused to participate in the protocol during the Clinton and Bush administrations. The U.S. Senate voted 98 - 0 against participating in the protocol in 1998. China, like the U.S., is not a signatory to the protocol for fear it will hurt the economy.

We like the Bush technology plan. The Bush Administration initiated the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, which aims to use the latest technologies to limit emissions and to make sure the technologies are available in the areas and industries that need them most. The pact includes India, China, Australia and South Korea, which account for approximately 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

President Bush is addressing global warming through a program called Methane to Markets. The U. S. joined 13 other countries in a 2004 agreements that formally created a partnership to advance international cooperation in recovering and using methane as a profitable source of clean energy. Signatories include representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in the signing ceremony that launched the global Methane-to-Markets Partnership. The program is a voluntary public-private partnerships to reduce methane emissions -- programs created in the early 1990s to meet U.S. commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. According to the EPA, the partnership has the potential to deliver by 2015 annual reductions in methane emissions of up to 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent or recovery of 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas. This is roughly equal to removing 33 million cars from roadways for a year or eliminating emissions from 50 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants.

The best technologies to reduce greenhouse gases would utilize nuclear power plants and electric vehicles (fuel cell plug-in hybrid electrics). The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided incentives for nuclear power and is effective climate change mitigation legislation.

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