Watching the World: Green politics in a harsh climate

Any legally binding international agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was last week in danger of being scuppered completely by political infighting as the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP-6) in The Hague wound up (see Editorial, p. 25). First reports out of the Dutch capital suggested the rift that had left a negotiated ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on the rocks was an historic one: England vs. France. John Prescott, the UK deputy prime minister, singled out his French counterpart at COP-6, Environment Minister Dominique Voynet, for undermining a compromise deal he had shepherded for the last 12 days. "She got cold feet, felt she could not explain i...

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