Defying climate deal like appeasing Hitler-UK minister

Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:26pm GMT
 

* UK's Huhne says world facing its 1938 "Munich moment"

* Energy minister: Climate deal unlikely this year

* Global warming falls down agenda as economies wobble

By Peter Griffiths

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - World leaders who oppose a global agreement to tackle climate change are making a similar mistake to the one made by politicians who tried to appease Adolf Hitler before World War Two, a British government minister said on Thursday.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Huhne said governments must redouble efforts to find a successor to the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on emissions, although it was unlikely that a breakthrough would be made at a conference later this year in Durban in South Africa.

The global economic crisis has pushed the search for a legally binding treaty to limit planet-warming emissions down the political agenda and countries do not want to lose their competitive edge by going it alone on strict climate targets, he said.

In a speech urging countries to keep pressing for a climate deal, Huhne evoked the memory of British wartime leader Winston Churchill and the fight against Nazi Germany led by Hitler.

"Climate change is getting less political attention now than it did two years ago. There is a vacuum, and the forces of low ambition are looking to fill it," he said. "Giving in to the forces of low ambition would be an act of climate appeasement.   Continued...

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