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【新聞】環保人士對民主黨國會寄予厚望

轉錄自環境資訊中心:http://e-info.org.tw/node/16668


ENS美國,華府報導;郭啟彬、蔡秦怡編譯;蔡麗伶審校

美國的溫室氣體排放量在過去15年增加了19%(圖片來源:Stefan Schlöhmer)民主黨11月7日的勝選使得美國參眾兩院脫離共和黨的掌控,環保團體領導人為之振奮,並且表示他們正計劃近年來首度採取攻勢的機會,以迎接即將於2007年1月揭幕的第110屆國會會期。保育人士將著重於能源、氣候暖化、農業法案再授權、國家公園及公共土地的保護,以及瀕臨絕種動物保育等法案。

國家環境信託(National Environmental Trust)負責人克萊普(Phil Clapp),在肯亞奈洛比聯合國氣候變遷會議的一場媒體簡報視訊會議中說:「全世界都在看國會的改變能否改變美國的氣候政策。」

克萊普表示:「已開發國家對於進一步的排放減量動作感到遲疑,除非美國能承諾減少排放量。美國的溫室氣體排放量在過去15年增加了19%,與會各國需要美國展現出強烈的企圖心,希望看到布希的全球暖化政策能付諸實行。」

肯亞奈洛比氣候變遷會議現場(圖片來源:Earth Negotiations Bulletin)美國在柯林頓總統時代就已經簽署京都議定書,同意減低溫室氣體的排放量,但是在2001年,布希總統卻拒絕將京都議定書呈交參議院核准,聲稱其將會危害美國的經濟。

包括歐盟及日本的大多數已開發國家,都受到京都議定書的約束,約束期限到西元2012年。它要求各國的溫室氣體排放量,平均必須比1990年減少5.2%,但許多人都認同這只是抑制全球暖化非常小的第一步而已。在奈洛比的會議中,另一個自2013年起執行的協議已經在討論中。

克萊普說道:「2012年議定書將失效,我們最多只有一年半到兩年的時間重新訂定新的協議內容。」

新任眾議院能源暨商業委員會主席、眾議院議員丁格爾(John Dingell),在本週舉行一場能源與氣候變遷調查聽證會。克萊普認為這仍是共和黨所奉行的政策,他指出,國會至今已經舉辦了超過200場關於全球暖化的聽證會。他說,如果民主黨繼續順從聽證會的意見,將錯失阻止全球持續暖化的機會。

Environmentalists Have High Hopes for Democratic Congress
WASHINGTON, DC, November 14, 2006 (ENS)

Buoyed by a Democratic victory at the polls November 7 that took both the House and the Senate away from the Republicans, environmental leaders say that when the 110th Congress opens in January, they are planning to play offense for the first time in years. They will focus on energy, global warming, a reauthorization of the Farm Bill, conserving national parks and other public lands, and protecting endangered species.

On a media briefing teleconference call from Nairobi, Kenya where he is attending the annunal United Nations climate conference, Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said the world is watching to see if the change in Congress can change U.S. climate policy.

"Developed countries are hesitant to move towards another set of reductions unless the U.S. also pledges its reductions," Clapp said. "U.S. warming emissions have risen 19 percent over last decade and a half. Conference participants need a strong signal from the U.S. that George Bush's global warming policy is on the way out."

The United States had signed the Kyoto Protocol agreeing to limit greenhouse gas emissions under President Bill Clinton, but in 2001 President George W. Bush declined to submit it to the Senate for ratification, saying it would harm the U.S. economy.

Most other developed countries, including the European Union countries and Japan, are bound by the protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. It requires an average cut in greenhouse gases of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels, but is widely viewed as a first, very small step towards controlling global warming. In Nairobi, a second commitment period to begin in 2013 is under discussion.

"We have at most 18 months, maybe 24 months, to get another agreement completed before ratification due in 2012," Clapp said.

This week, Congressman John Dingell, the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called for fact-finding hearings on energy and climate change. But, that is the policy the Republicans pursued, said Clapp, who points out that to date Congress has held over 200 fact-finding hearings on global warming. He says if the Democrats go down the road of hearings they will miss an opportunity to put global warming on pause.


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