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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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Summing Up the Kyoto Accord
16 March 1998 7:00 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The diplomat who deftly rescued the climate change treaty negotiations from collapse last December in Kyoto, Japan, told a group of reporters here this morning that he harbors no illusions that the next stage in the process--reaching an agreement on how to achieve the goals laid out in the treaty--will be any easier.
Raul Estrada-Oyeula, the Argentine ambassador to China, chaired the Kyoto talks, in which more than 160 countries signed an agreement to rein in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2012. He'll also head a follow-up meeting in November in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to hammer out details for implementing the treaty. One approach, he said, might include "trading" schemes under which, for example, a European utility would buy a permit to emit gases in exchange for building an energy-efficient factory abroad.
Estrada admits that the negotiations face rough sledding. The U.S. Senate, for example, wants developing countries to sign before ratifying the treaty. But Estrada doubts that more than a "framework" for participation by those countries will come out of Buenos Aires. "Of course it's always possible" that some countries will commit to emissions targets before the meeting, he said, "but my feeling is it's difficult." Those countries in turn are waiting for developed nations to take action, he said, and "nobody believes the U.S. is going to [ratify] the protocol in the first 2 years."
Still, Estrada says he's confident the treaty will move forward, and he described the trading scheme as a "transitional mechanism" to "something better" after 2012. When asked what comes next, however, he declined to comment, saying only, "by that time, I will be retired."