Delegates met behind closed doors for a two-day global climate change conference in Hawaii, but were not expected to make major progress on setting limits for greenhouse gases.
Yvo de Boer, UN climate chief, said participants -- which include the US and China -- would likely use the opportunity to take stock of last month's talks in Bali, where nations agreed to adopt a blueprint for reducing greenhouse emissions by next year.
Germany, Japan and the UN were also among those with delegates in the meeting at the East-West Center which was to end yesterday.
Delegates, including top environmental officials reporting directly to presidents and prime ministers, aren't expected to make much progress outlining mandatory limits on the gases.
That's in part because the gathering that began on Wednesday is only scheduled to last two days.
It's also because the host of the Hawaii meeting, the US, has objected to mandatory cuts proposed by the EU for industrialized nations. Washington has said the reductions would slice too deep, too fast.
Even so, delegates said they expect to use their time in the islands to discuss in greater detail some of the ways countries -- both industrialized and developing -- can reduce their emissions.
Among the issues being discussed is how developing nations may acquire the technology to burn coal more efficiently. Or capture and store carbon emissions in huge underground containers. Delegates were also expected to discuss how to help developing countries prevent deforestation.
Jim Connaughton, the chief US delegate and White House environmental chief, said he hoped participants would reach an understanding on how industries, or different sectors, might reduce their emissions. This would complement national efforts, he said.
"Don't know yet. We have to now begin to outline these outcomes, but there's a lot of enthusiasm here for the discussion," Connaughton told reporters after the first day of talks.
Down the hill from the meeting on Wednesday, environmental activists drew a line along seven city blocks showing where ocean levels would likely rise to in the next 50 to 100 years if global temperatures continue to climb.
Alexa Hettwer, 16, said her neighborhood and her school were among the areas expected to be flooded.
"This really brings it home," she said of the chalking exercise. "I didn't realize everything I knew would be underwater."
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a