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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 11:50 GMT
Inside the Climate Change Talks
First broadcast November 2007

US flag and pollution

In this three part series Mike Williams dips into the delicate negotiations to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

Over a six month period he tracks international activity in the run up to the United Nations (UN) Summit this December in Bali.

He talks to coal miners in America, subsistence fishermen in the Caribbean, environmental protestors and the people who lobby Congress on behalf of big business to find out who is winning this battle of ideas.

Part One: The USA and emmissions

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The US didn't ratify the Kyoto agreement to cut CO2 emissions, and the White House is still resistant to binding targets. But American public opinion is shifting.

At home, America's fear about relying on foreign oil is high on the political agenda. Environmentalists hope that this will encourage investment in renewables, but the coal industry has other plans and a new fuel 'liquid coal' is gaining support on the Hill as lobbyists do their work.

But this fuel could produce more CO2 emissions unless there's massive Government investment to find news technologies to clean it up. Fears about energy security and global warming clash.

Mike Williams is behind the scenes at G8 in May as George Bush announces his own talks process, and is challenged by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to agree to ambitious new emissions targets.


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