Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As UN Covers For Obama Climate Backslide, It Does Not Carbon Offset, "Act Not Together"

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, March 6 -- As the UN provides groundcover for the Obama administration's retreat from its climate change rhetoric during the electoral campaign, the UN "doesn't have its act together" on even offsetting the impacts of travel by its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other high officials, the UN's Yvo de Boer told the Press on Friday.

  Mr. de Boer held a press conference to announce positive movement on climate change in Congress, at least in the House of Representatives. Inner City Press asked if he and UN agree with the Denmark's Minister of Climate and Energy Conniee Hedegaard, who has said if the U.S. doesn't pass cap and trade legislation in 2009, it will be a step backwards.  De Boer responded that Rep. Markey (Dem-MA) told him legislation should emerge from his House committee in May. The Senate, de Boer said, is more complicated. That's an understatement.

  Inner City Press asked if he agreed that Obama's climate negotiator Todd Sterns statement that any 25% reduction in emissions by the U.S. by 2020 is unrealistic is a "diss" of the UN's IPCC.  De Boer said he agreed with Stern -- de Boer subtly moved the goal post being dissed to 40% -- but said that perhaps the U.S. could invest money in deforestation projects as a way to show seriousness.

  On that, Inner City Press asked de Boer whether he, Ban Ki-moon and the UN are offsetting the carbon emission of their travel. De Boer admitted that they are not, saying that they are trying to come up with a methodology but "we don't have our act together yet." Video here, from Minute 49:22.

  This seems the least one could expect from a Secretary-General who speaks so much about climate change. A senior Ban advisor, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Inner City Press that the Ban administration thinks that carbon offsetting is hype. Why not say that publicly, then?

UN's Ban board plane, carbon offsetting not shown

  Inner City Press asked asked de Boer about a leaked draft of European finance ministers, that industry and not government should foot the bill of helping the developing world reduce its emissions. Governments print money, de Boer quipped, but they don't make it. One way or another, the taxpayer is on the hook. It's what the banks are saying, too. Some view it as competing ransom notes.

   De Boer was asked about the climate "mini-summit" with Obama that the Ban Administration had leaked and then undercut, when they thought Obama would not come. De Boer said that climate and summits will be on Ban's agenda in Washington next week. We will continue to follow these issues.

Footnote: in fairness to Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press asked the spokesman for President of the General Assembly Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, before his recent trip through Iran, Syria and Geneva, if he would be carbon offsetting. Ask the PGA, the spokesman said.

  But the next day, when d'Escoto took questions in front of the Trusteeship Council, Inner City Press was asked to not repeat the question, an answer would be forthcoming. Then none was received, despite Inner City Press providing its previous coverage of UN offsetting -- in the case of one conference -- and not offsetting.

  It's like Ban's demotion of Tanzanian Anna Tibaijuku from the UN's top post in Nairobi, during women and gender week: practice what you preach. We'll see.

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -