Posturing ahead of U.N. climate change report

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Scientists and governments are wrangling over the final wording of the latest U.N. report on global warming due Friday. The document from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will offer solutions to the problem and estimate their costs.

But as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, China and the U.S. dispute the numbers.


SARAH GARDNER: Both China and the U.S. complain the draft report underplays the costs and the time it will take to reduce greenhouse gases. China also wants the finger of blame firmly pointed at the West — while the U.S. is calling for language emphasizing technologies that still involve coal. Peter Altman at the National Environmental Trust says the criticism isn't surprising.

PETER ALTMAN: The pattern that we see is the administration delegation trying to shape this report in a way that can be used to validate what the administration has been doing on climate — which is not much.

GARDNER: But fellow environmentalist John Coequyt at Greenpeace isn't ruffled. It's part political posturing, part negotiation, he says.

JOHN COEQUYT: We don't expect them to make any terribly wild changes, because if they did that, the scientists would scream bloody murder. And then the next thing you know, you have an incident and it draws more attention to the government positions than they want.

GARDNER: The draft report says it's not too late to fight the worst effects of global warming — but countries must act now. I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.

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