Chinese climate proposal places burden on developed world – Summary

Copenhagen – China countered a Danish working paper presented at the UN climate change conference on Thursday, proposing that only industrial countries be forced to set specific targets on greenhouse gases. According to the French daily Le Monde, India, Brazil, South Africa and Sudan also worked on the text to the proposal, which however did not mention any concrete numbers.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented a report at the climate summit warning of a souring of the oceans.

The Switzerland-based environmental group said in a report released Thursday that increased release of CO2 in the atmosphere was making seawater more acidic and was threatening ecosystems and aquatic life essential for human food and economies.

“Ocean acidification can be best described as the evil twin of climate change,” said Dan Laffoley, lead editor of the report.

The oceans, which absorbs 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide emitted annually, have grown 30 per cent more acidic since industrialization began 250 years ago.

In addition to reducing the ocean’s ability to regulate climate, ocean acidification in the past has been linked to mass extinctions of some species, the report said.

If CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, sea water acidity could increase by 120 per cent by 2060 ­ greater than anything experienced in the past 21 million years. By 2100, 70 per cent of cold water corals may be exposed to corrosive water.

EarthTimes, 10 December 2009. Full article.

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