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This Week in Green – Nov. 22, 2010

By Geoff Grant – Zoe Environmental Editor

More often than not, politics – and politicians – seems antithetical to environmental concerns. This week, we bring you the antithesis of those normally antithetical voices. We bring you hope. At least glimmers of hope, anyway, straight from the mouths and deeds of politicians, and politics, and the people empowered to make a difference: you.

U.K. Conservative Embraces Conservation

To deal with global climate change it will take a global approach, nations working with nations. So says the leading conservative politician for his country.

That politician would be British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said last week that a fragmented approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions was not the answer.

“The UK and EU have very aggressive targets for reducing our carbon emissions,” said Cameron, speaking to the Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Davis, CA, an event hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “But we need to work towards a global deal, otherwise we’re all going to do our own individual bit. If we can’t get the whole of the U.S. and China on board, we’re not going to get the kind of action we need to prevent dangerous climate change.”

Cameron was speaking in advance of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, to be held Nov. 29 – Dec. 16 in Cancun, Mexico. The goal of that annual conference is to get countries working together toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lower global warming. So far, 187 countries/states have signed and committed to the legally binding agreement (the Kyoto Protocol). The U.S. is not among them.

“We should be really aggressive about driving forward green change in our own countries, regions and states so we can convince everyone in the world that this is not an anti-growth agenda, it’s a progress agenda that’s essential for saving our planet,” Cameron said. “The best thing we can do between now and Cancun and then on to South Africa is show that green growth makes sense.”

Cameron was not shy in criticizing the Chinese for resisting the monitoring of their emissions, which proved to be a major sticking point at last December’s convention in Copenhagen. He also chastised the U.S. for dragging its feet on committing to the international document.

Both issues remain unresolved and figure to play another large role at the upcoming conference in Cancun. Stay tuned.