www.eagleforum.org
November 5, 1998
EXCLUSIVE!
Update on Global Governance: The latest UN Conference
Report by Eagle Forum Correspondent Cathie Adams in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Fourth Session of the Conference of the Parties

November 2-13, 1998

"The task of this conference is to maintain the POLITICAL momentum generated by Kyoto. Climate change must remain high on national AGENDAS; ministers must remain committed to seeking agreement and achieving timely results," proclaimed Michael Jammit Cutajar, Executive Secretary of the Buenos Aires UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in his opening statement.

As of the end of September, 57 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol. President Clinton has yet to submit it to the U.S. Senate, not because he is protecting American sovereignty, but because he wants developing countries to have "meaningful participation," whatever that means. Argentina proposed that developing countries adopt "voluntary commitments" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the motion was withdrawn. Developing countries (G77/China as identified within the UN system) argued that "developed nations are the ones that should assume reduction commitments, and not the developing countries whose growth could be jeopardized."

Americans cannot expect such determination from the U.S. lead negotiator in both Kyoto and Buenos Aires, Stuart Eizenstat. The Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, says this conference is "a significant milestone in efforts to consolidate our gains and to make concrete and operational our Kyoto achievements." In Kyoto, the U.S. agreed to reduce our "greenhouse gas" emissions by 7% by 2008-2012 even though science has yet to prove that the earth is warming or that man's activities could cause "global warming."

In Kyoto, Eizenstat agreed to the schemes: "emissions trading," "joint implementation" between developed countries, and a "clean development mechanism" to encourage joint emissions reduction projects between developed and developing countries. In Buenos Aires, how those schemes will be implemented and monitored is being discussed.

How will the transfer of portions of assigned amounts of "greenhouse gases" be verified and monitored? What compliance mechanisms should be required at the national level? What types of consequences should Parties be considering, and should those consequences be automatic but appealable? If a Party has oversold "emissions credits" at the end of the budget period, who is responsible: the buyer, or the seller, or both? Should there be automatic consequences for those that have bought or sold "bad tons?"

Additional Reading
The Costs of Trading in the Global Economy
Global Goals: Bailouts, Bosnia, Lies, and Hot Air
Global Goals of the Clinton Administration
Will Treaties Rule America's Future?
President Clinton and his appointee Stuart Eizenstat have disregarded the standards of sound science and the U.S. Constitution when dealing with the UN. The U.S. Congress should intervene. They should protect our national sovereignty as granted by the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. has no business coming to "consensus" on any "legally binding" treaty that establishes "consequences." And Americans should use this international issue as a "litmus test" for future presidential candidates.

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