ECO GENEVA (INC) #2A June 19, 1991 
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 ECO GENEVA (INC) #2A June 19, 1991

From: <larris>
Subject: ECO GENEVA (INC) #2A June 19, 1991

                          ECO NEWSLETTER


                          June 19, 1991
                            ISSUE #2A

                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) Arctic Ice Melts
2) Greenpeace Calls for Global Defence Agenda
3) India Throws Down the Gauntlet
4) Montreal Benefits Threatened by HFC's
5) NGO: Environmental Protection Society Malaysia

*** Apologies - Articles were received late so are posted as
addendum to issue #2 ********


By Eco Staff

Evidence is emerging that the Arctic ice cap is thinning over a
wide area.  an international team led by Dr D Quadfasel has found
that temperatures in the water column between Svalbard and
Svernaya Zemlya are now almost a degree centigrade warmer than
they were in 1987.  British submarine sonar data shows widespread
thinning of the ice cap north of Greenland.  Ice averaging 3.5
metres in 1976 had thinned to 4.5 metres in 1987, and over an area
of 300,000 square kilometres some 15% of the volume (amounting to
229 cubic kilometres) had been lost.

"The results of these two studies are, to say the least, alarming"
comments Dr Jeremy Leggett of Greenpeace International. Leggett,
who served in the science group of the IPCC, is careful to point
out that it does not necessarily mean that the whole ice sheet is
thinning but says that this question might well be answered if the
US and Soviet navies released data which they hold.

Arctic nations recently signed the Arctic Environmental Protection
Strategy but there is little that conventional conservation
measures can do to protect unique habitats such as the tundra, if
global warming takes hold.  Because of their geography, the tundra
and associated habitats will be reduced to small fractions of
their present extent if warming takes place.  Other scientists
have also warned that warming of the Arctic environment could
trigger a runaway positive feedback by releasing great quantities
of methane (a far more powerful gas than carbon dioxide) now
locked in the permafrost.

(See P Wadhams, Evidence for thinning of the Arctic ice cover
north of Greenland (1991) NATURE vol 350 p 345, and, D Quadfasel,
A Sy and A Tunik, Warming in the Arctic, NATURE (1991) vol 345, pp
795 - 797.)

2) Call for Global Defence Agenda

By Eco Reporter

Greenpeace will today call for a Global Defence Agenda to 'assure
national and global security' in the face of climate threats.
Greenpeace will warn that the planet is now faces an entirely new
set of risks, more threatening than any foreseeable military

Paul Hohnen of Greenpeace International says "Unless global
warming is halted, its predicted impacts will impose fundamental
changes in life-style, and in political and economic systems,
possibly in a period of a few decades. In the longer term, the
existence of entire cultures and species could be imperilled".

Hohnen warns that "droughts in Africa, the flooding of countries
like Bangladesh and cyclones wreaking havoc in small island
nations are comparatively minor examples of what scientists are
saying may be in store for us". Hohnen told Eco "it is ludicrous
that priority is still being given to big-budget traditional
defence projects which will ultimately be powerless to protect us
from the 'greenhouse' effect. It is crucial that the world now
recognise global warming must be considered our greatest common

A full report of the Greenpeace strategy will appear in tomorrow's

3) India Throws Down The Gauntlet

India yesterday invited the developed world to get serious about a
global deal to avert climate change. The Indian proposal for a
'draft framework convention on climate change' may be officially a
'non-paper' but it is far from being non-sense.  By proposing that
a convention should aim to stabilise atmospheric levels of
greenhouse gases; to equalize per capita emissions of carbon
dioxide worldwide after including the sins of this century's
pollution; to set up a climate fund paid for by the rich to enable
the poor to develop without becoming equal polluters; India has
thrown down the gauntlet to the guilty parties.

The Indian formula neatly combines ecology with equity.  It points
the finger at the carbon-guilty nations in Europe, North America,
Japan, and the countries of eastern and central Europe. It
provides the means for them to make amends by financing
sustainable development in the South.

Of course it is imperfect.  That is why it is useful.  For all the
elegance of its legalistic drafting, it is a negotiating position.
The OECD countries will hardly rush to embrace a measure which
separates the world into just 'developing' and 'developed'
countries and thereby suggests that Brazil, India and Malaysia are
in the same poverty-stricken boat as Chad, Bangladesh or Surinam.
India's formula could also let any developing country take no
action unless the full costs were met by new money from the fund.
India does not explain how 'incremental' will be defined and its
definition of 'environmentally sound technology' is whatever a
developing country likes.

Yet the environmental vision behind the Indian proposal is
considerably more global, more far-sighted and more in tune with
the thoughts and hopes of people all over the world, than the
disingenuous rhetoric of many rich countries.  While the US argues
no numbers, no names, no dates, India has named names and proposed
a reduction in emissions of up to 50%.

Instead India talks about responsibilities for the problem and the
way forward - by the right sort of development.  The present
argument is in truth, between the very rich and the mainly poor.  
It will not be a disaster if most poor countries do relatively
little about the greenhouse effect for a few years.  It will be a
disaster if the major economies of the North do nothing, and that
includes financing a different pattern of development in the

The Indian proposal is a 'whole hog' policy which goes all the way
in spelling out the reality of what the 'South' ought to seek
and principles the North ought to agree to.

4) Montreal Benefits Threatened By HFCs

By Eco Staff

Scientists are warning against the potential global-warming threat
posed by the gases HFCs used as a substitute for the
ozone-damaging CFCs.  Joe Farman, the discoverer of the hole in
the ozone layer, said on Tuesday that industry "seriously
underestimates" the possible contribution of these gases to global
warming.  It could, said Farman, be case of "out of the frying pan
into the fire".

Speaking in Geneva, Farman declared that while industry claimed
HFCs and the similar HCFCs would contribute only 1% to the
human-made greenhouse effect in coming decades, the true figure
could be much greater.  "For example, the substitution of HFC-134a
for CFC-12 in car air-conditioning units, as envisaged by
industry, would lead by the year 2075 to a doubling of the global
warming already produced from CFC use in this one application

If HFC and HCFC releases "are allowed to grow" said Farman, "we
shall fail to realise the potential benefits of the phase out in
CFCs".  In addition, noted the British scientist, HCFCs do carry
chlorine to the stratosphere and "irresponsile use of HCFCs will
delay the onset of ozone recovery".


Founded in 1974, EPSM is a non-profit, voluntary, national
organization entirely run by volunteers. Led by a 9 member
Executive Committee that is elected every 2 years; EPSM has
highlighted environmental problems through the mass media, made
representations to Government agencies, campaigned against
polluters, undertaken surveys & studies, and contributed towards
environmental education & awareness through talks, forums,
seminars and its quarterly magazine.

EPSM was the founder coordinator [May 89-Aug.90] of the Malaysian
Environmental & Conservation Network, and is an active member of
the Pesticides Action Network [PAN]. It became an associate member
of the International Union of Air Pollution Prevention
Associations [IUAPPA] in U91, and maintains active contacts with a
wide range of national and international NGOs as well as Malaysian
Government Agencies.

EPSM has undertaken a range of detailed regional water quality,
waste and water management studies, as well as various short-term
air and noise monitoring. EDSM has campaigned on issues from
Concorde (1977P91) to protection of the Batu caves; the Bakun dam
(since U85); freedom of information; and environmental impact

Epsm organized MalaysiaUs first Declaration on the Environment in
1977; environmental Journalism course in 1979; and the Protector
and Polluter of the Malaysian Environment Awards.

Epsm runs a modest resource centre at its Petaling Jaya
secretariat, publishes the Alam Sekitar.

EPSM can be contacted at P.O. Box 382, 46740 Petaling Jaya;
telephone 03-7757767, fax 03-7754039 and telex c/o MA 31794 MSL.
Electronic mail address: [Earthnet] :epsm


For enquiries and response to ECO:
ECO Editorial Staff
Tivoli Room, Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva
Telephone: (+41) 22 740 0541 / 734 6574
FAX:       (+41) 22 734 8425
E-mail:    gn:wwfgland, gn:swcc

For Press enquiries to particular NGO spokespersons:
The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Room
Persan Room, Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva
Telephone: (+41) 22 740 0536 / 734 5243
FAX:       (+41) 22 734 6442

Lelani Arris                           * Project Director
EcoNet:    larris                      * EcoNet Energy & Climate

Telephone: 403-852-4057                * Jasper, Alberta T0E 1E0
Fax:       403-852-3215                * Canada

Mon, 06 Dec 1993 21:57:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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