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Ministers at the conference in The Hague told the world's press that they had failed to reach an agreement on 'greenhouse gas' emis­sions, which raise the Earth's temperature. Scientists warned that this would mean more pollution and a greater risk of disasters across the globe. A United Nations representatives said the conference had been organised to reach agreements on reducing emissions. It was a follow-up to the 1997 conference in Kyoto, Japan, when governments promised they would reduce emissions of carbon-based gases below 1990 levels by 2012. In Kyoto, the European Union agreed to cut emis­sions by 8 %, Japan 6 %, and the USA 7 %. At the conference in the Hague, Britain declared that it was one of the few countries to have reduces its emissions, but critics asked if this was due to government policy or the decline in the coal industry. The EU reminded the USA (the world's biggest polluter producing 24 % of the world's emissions) that it had not met its targets. The USA firmly denied it was making excuses and asked why the targets were so unrealistic.

Some environmentalists at the conference claimed that the world is warming faster than at any time in the past 10.000 years. However, other experts suggested that it is part of natural weather cycles. In 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) an­nounced that there was a definite human influence on climate change. Some government ministers reluctantly admitted that they may need to cut global emissions by up to 60% in the long-term. However, many developing countries have refused to sign any pollution agreements; they say it would harm their economic growth and insist that the de­veloped countries lead the way and show it is possible to break the link between economic growth and rising emissions.

By Bob Roberts

Post-listening task

Check your predictions.

What words are used in the text to report these statements.

1. We're afraid that this lack of agreement will mean more pollu­tion.

2. OK, we'll cut emissions by 8 %.

3. We are one of the few countries to have reduces their emissions.

4. Remember you have not met the target.

5. We' re not making excuses.

6. The world is warming faster than at any time in the past 10.000 years.

7. It's probably part of natural weather cycle.

8. There is definite human influence on climate change.

9. Well, we may need to cut global emissions by up to 60 % in the long-term.

10. We will not sign any pollution agreement.

11. The developed countries lead the way.

Keys: 1 to warn that; 2 to agree to; 3 to declare that; 4 to remind (...) that; 5 to deny it was; 6 to claim that; 7 to suggest that; 8 to an­nounce that; 9 to admit that; 10 have refuse to; 11 to insist that.


1. Read the text using the following interactive reading strategy: put some marks on the margins:

· information you know;

• information that contradicts your ideas;

• new information;

• information you are interested in.

2. While reading the texts the students use the following interactive reading strategies:

• The most important information / Your comments.

• I know / I want to know / I've known

Date: 2014-12-28; view: 1828

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