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f,lONOAY, JUNE 20, 2011 Bobcat Skld Stn"r Load" ....

Call for votes to spur climate talks faces hurdles proposal by (l.texico and Papua New Guillea 10 kick-starl Ihe United Nations d imate talks by shifting 10 vollng on major deci5ions from an iII-defined need for consensus may face insurmountable hurdle!, experts say, ~We want to break this process where tM 5Iowest is aJloo:ed 10 hold e\.'eryone else Up ,M Kevm Conrad, of Papua New Guinea, told Reulers of the proposal on the sidelllle! of UN negotiations in Bonn from June 6-17 He oomo\\!ledged the call 10 allow a 75 per cenl meJority vote ~as a last resorf §cared mo'lny delegates at the lBO.JliltlOll talks, which a re deadlocked ov"r ISSues such as the fate of Ihe Kyoto Protocol for C\Jrbing emis:sions. KThere is II fear factor. Most countries are lIffZlid that the vote is going to be used 3galinsllhern. - he s,ud • f.1an~' delegates "'Id they thought the plan unlikely to succeed even though

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::II residential solar power ~tems thlough a di/'a1 with itartup SoIarCity lhat is the Internet search glan!", largesl single clean energy IIlvestmentto date. The lund will enable thousands of homeowners who do not ~~·ant to make a large upfront inve51menl in a solar system 10 have solar panels inslalled on their roofs 35 parI of SolarCily·, leasing prOogfamme. Ihe companies ,;aid SoIarCity·s solar lease en<lobles its program customers to pay a monthly lee for sole'll !)<lm!ls rather largE' up·front than a Installation price That monlhly lee is often offset by the cuslomer"s saving;s on electnc UII1lt~' bills. Google lvill own the ~'5tems. and will earn a higher return th"n what 11 would earn if the cash h&<.l bfton slillng In Ine bank. SolarCity Chief Execulive lyndon Rive S<lold. though he declmed to be specific. Through Ihe delll wilh Google. ffive S<loid he hopes olnel C01pOr"lions will come. 10 see financing solar 5!to'5tems "5 a good use of their cash. Klfs been m"inly banks thaI have focused on this, "nd what th31 has done i5 it him!' t broadened Ihe market .~ RWE! 5<lold in an interviev.' MWith Google gelling into this . hopefully it will show otner corpora te companies Ih"t this is a smart Investment.San Mateo. CalUornla· based SoIarCity recently • boughl groSolat. " sola r po<.<.oer developer and expanding stales. The

"Imost all agree thaI talks are moving far 100 slowly 10 cut grrenhou:segasemission5Md avert more Hoods. droughts, neal waves. mudslides and rising sea levels Christiana Figueres. head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. said prospects for the proposalv.·ere slim since it would require cOflsensus just to gel il considered. KYes, ., syslem that has voting would perhaps be more time efficient,~ she told Reulers. but ~in order to go 10 voting we: would have to nave consensus So thaI tells you what lhe prospects are. The submission. to be discussed in Ihe run· up to annual lalks among environment miniscers In Durban, Soulh Africa. in IlIIe 20 1l . was !)<lrlly prompted after a UN meeting last year agreed a climate deal despite Wident objections from Bolivia. Hosts Mexico argued lhat the meeting h:Jd TeilChed consensus, a yardst ick agreed in climate negotiations. and Bolivia could not have a velo. Bolivia argued Mconsensus· meollns ~unan imi\y~ and is considering a legal challengE'. "We are in Ihe process 01 anolliy7J ng the differenl ophons- for 1eg3l ilelion, said Pablo Solon. head of Bolivia·s delegation In Bonn . He was isola ted at the Mexican talks ilrguing lor far tougher &dIOn to protect - (l.\other Earth He said he would block Ihe proposal, and tnlll many other nalions were also

Top emillers such as China and tne United States do not wan l 10 be boxed in a comer by decisions that would require costly action. Developing states, most at risk from climate cnange, fear being overruled Conrad disagreed with Figueres. saying a reform could be taken by a vote under the 1992 UN rnmework Convention on Climate Change, Ihe guiding treaty for Ihe talks. Amendmen ts 10 that Conllention can be dedded by a 75 per cent majority lnf'.1exico.counlriesagree<! iI goal o f limiting <lo rise in average w(lIld temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) abaw pre-

indUSlnal times and pledged a new green climate fund 10 help developing nations. Bolivia'slefli!tgovernmenl argued Ihe plan V.'ilS too weak and demi:lnded too little of industrialised Il<ltions. Other conferences have foundered. partly because of the ambiguity of whal consen5us means At a 2009 summit In Copenhagen, a fl!\'" countr ies _. inctuding Sudan. Bolivia. Venezuela and Colombia - objected to an accord to step up action 10 slow globill warming. ThaI blocked adoption of a Copenhagen Accord that was eventullily merely "noled ~ by the conference.

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THE PUNCH, 20 JUNE, 2011  

Call for votes to spur climate talks faces hurdles

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