Govts 'too slow to save climate'

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily via agencies, January 26, 2010
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About two thirds of people believe their government and business leaders are not taking the rights steps at the right pace to prevent global climate change, according to a joint Reuters/Ipsos international poll.

The survey of about 24,000 people in 23 countries, conducted in the lead up to, during and following the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December last year, found 65 percent of respondents were not happy with the progress and actions taken to date to conserve the environment.

Only 35 percent said their government and business leaders were doing the right thing - and only three countries would get passing grades on their environmental credentials from their citizens.

These were China which received 86 percent support from its people, India with 60 percent support, and Turkey with 54 percent.

"It's clear that global citizens are underwhelmed by the leadership shown by their own governments and business leaders in tackling what they perceive to be a serious threat to the world and themselves," said John Wright, senior vice - president of public affairs from market research company Ipsos.

"The outcome of the recent climate conference in Copenhagen simply goes to reinforce any existing view that much of the backbone and courage that's needed on this issue is missing in action."

More than 20 countries, including China and the United States, agreed to a non-binding Copenhagen Accord at the chaotic 190-nation UN climate summit.

Officials acknowledge privately that the mandatory system for enforcing emissions curbs created by the 1997 Kyoto protocol is doomed because China, the world's biggest emitter of man-made greenhouse gases, won't accept any constraints on its future economic growth and the United States won't join any agreement that is not binding on Beijing.

The United States, a major emitter, has not formed a national plan to cut emissions as climate legislation has stalled in the Senate.

Major developing countries want Washington to act first before agreeing to binding action.

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