The European Union issued a statement lamenting the position of the United States of America, which predictably refused to accept the agreement offered by the EU on emission of greenhouse effect gases (GEG), such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). “ I deeply regret that the USA has not accepted an agreement made by the Europeans on the reduction of GEG emission,” said German Minister Juergen Trittin, representative of his country at the Hague Conference on climate change. The scientific community has been saying for many years that the greenhouse effect causes global warming and this causes many serious consequences. Among these are flooding in some areas, droughts in others, melting of the polar ice caps and an increase in sea levels. For countries such as the Netherlands and Britain and cities such as Lisbon, on the Atlantic, any consequences are serious and serious consequences are dramatic. The USA, however, refused to accept any of the proposals which the EU offered. The EU proposals offered the countries which pollute the atmosphere most (and the USA is the greatest polluter of all), a number of alternatives to reduce their GEG output. Half of the reductions proposed for the USA would be in energy saving matters anyway, which would be beneficial to the Americans themselves. However, the American delegation, led by Frank Loy, refused, preferring instead a continuation of the status quo, which is basically that they pollute as much as they like. The result of this has been to bring the Europeans and the G-77 (the developing countries) closer together. The French Environment Minister, Dominique Voynet, stated that the proposals from these countries “were much more interesting than the proposals made by the United States”, summing up the feeling of growing collaboration between the EU and the G-77 countries. The American delegation was responsible for the climate of growing tension in this conference. Yet again, the US administration shows itself to be devoid of any environmental concern for the planet they continue to pollute. This is why there was a perverse sense of pleasure when a spectator approached Frank Loy during his press conference and firmly pressed a cream tart in his face. Frank Loy’s expression, as he sat immobile, his glasses covered in cream, as he pondered what to do, will remain in the memory for a long time.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon