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Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (part 1)

the human body weight, needs to be topped up on a regular basis and we cannot go without it for more than about week. As well as drinking it, we also use water for cooking and sanitation, not to mention industrial processes. Yet despite water being essential to our survival, more often than not in the West, we treat it with distain. A fact reflected in its low price (compared to petrol or electricity -- things we may be addicted to but can live without?) and how the developed world fritters it away (you may leave the kitchen tap running into an unplugged sink at home but you would not pour petrol from the station pump down the drain, right?).

What makes matters worse in terms of our taking water for granted, is that despite 70% of the Earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5% of the total volume is freshwater resources and fit for human consumption. Coupled with the facts from the WBCSD and FAO that in 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished, by 2025, 1,800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

Climate Change: Bangkok talks begin with plea for action (part 2)

One negotiating track will look at proposals for a new clean technology transfer mechanism, while another will address the mitigation actions developing countries need to take to curb emissions. A third workshop that took place yesterday looked at industrialised countries' emission targets and how to assess whether they have been met.

"These discussions are important because they have started to shape up governments' ideas on how to create a transparent, rule-based global emission reduction framework, with delegates looking at the specifics of enhanced accountability and transparency for both developed and developing countries," Figueres said.

Tansneem Essop, delegation leader for the World Wildlife Fund sums up the task ahead:

"The fragile compromise achieved in Cancun helped put the UN negotiations back on track, Bangkok needs to build on this progress and boost the overall ambition levels of the talks if we are to avert the worst consequences of climate change."

Climate Change: Bangkok talks begin with plea for action (part 1)

But she reiterated her warning that current emission reduction pledges will deliver only 60 per cent of the cuts thought necessary to meet the agreed target of limiting average global temperature rises to less than two degrees Centrigrade.

She also warned that the 1,500 diplomats and ministers attending the talks needed to find a way to end the stand off over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, noting that the current commitment period is due to end in 2012, potentially removing the only legally binding limits on industrialised nations' carbon emissions and undermining the legal framework for the UN's carbon trading schemes.


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