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SC73

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July 30, 2008 10:54PM
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/49596/story.htm

Trade Failure Clouds Climate Talks and Beyond

GENEVA - The collapse of world trade talks deals such a blow to international negotiations that the prospect of agreeing effective solutions to global warming or the spread of nuclear weapons seems more remote than ever.

"If we cannot even manage trade, how should we then find ourselves in a position to manage new challenges like climate change?" said European agriculture chief Mariann Fischer Boel after talks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva fell apart on Tuesday. "It is a failure with wider consequences than we have ever seen before."
Countries aim to agree a successor by the end of next year to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a 1997 treaty which commits developed countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions and which expires in 2012.

Like trade pacts, climate agreements have to be reached by consensus -- something that has proven impossible among the 153 WTO members.

The Geneva failure augurs badly for United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen in late 2009, and for faltering global efforts to halt nuclear proliferation, highlighted by the dispute over Iran's atomic programme, analysts said.

"It will greatly undermine trust in multilateral goodwill," said Mark Halle of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. "Nobody thinks we can get a climate deal without overcoming the deep mistrust in the developing world."

The fact that the WTO's "Doha development round", touted as a way to help poorer countries get more from world trade, foundered on a dispute between the United States and and big emerging economies has hit hopes for a post-Kyoto deal.

"It will be extremely difficult (for developing countries) to rebuild their confidence in the multilateral system about the desire of the rich to do anything," Halle said...............

.................. "The collapse of the WTO talks is another sign of the decline of Western power," said a European Union official involved in policy planning. "It's no longer enough for the United States and the Europeans to agree on the objective in order to achieve the desired outcome."

The reluctance of emerging countries to accept curbs on greenhouse gases is another sign of the changing world order, which the EU official put down in part to opposition to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and a perception that Washington remains bogged down and unable to prevail in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

He pointed to this month's veto by Russia and China of a UN resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, and to persistent difficulty in persuading them to back tougher measures against Iran and Sudan, as signs of this power shift.

For the EU's trade negotiator, haggard and bitterly disappointed after nine days of ultimately fruitless talks, the failure in Geneva was a blow for those who hope the world can find consensus to solve global problems that affect everyone.

"We have missed a chance to seal the first global pact of a reshaped world order," said Peter Mandelson. "We would all have been winners from a Doha deal. Without one we all lose."

Just a sign of things to come. Think the world powers will enter a cornicopian period of mass cooperation as the great economies of the world succumb to energy depletion and drastic climate change? Human nature says they won't, as illustrated above.
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SC73

Wizard 667July 30, 2008 10:54PM

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jobe 342August 03, 2008 06:48AM

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Wizard 800August 08, 2008 10:09PM



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