Thursday, February 9, 2023

Student leaves for conference in The Hague

November 17, 2000

MSU will be represented in the Netherlands this week as a student environmental group sends one of its own to take a stance on global warming.

Liisa Bergmann, the co-coordinator of ECO, will leave today for the Convention on Climate Change - a United Nations conference in The Hague.

“I will represent ECO members and MSU students in demanding that the U.S. be a world leader by working to create solid plans for a solution to global warming,” said Bergmann, an environmental policy sophomore.

Members of ECO have said for months that President Clinton should strengthen his position on global warming. It’s a topic that’s become increasingly important recently because temperatures all over the world have been higher than normal.

At the conference, representatives from 175 nations will meet to discuss climate policies and negotiate the extent to which a country’s chemical reduction commitments can be met.

Members of ECO have been critical of the Kyoto Protocol - a climate-change treaty that requires a worldwide reduction in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Some ECO members say loopholes in the treaty allow the United States and industrialized countries to substantially increase their emissions.

Bergmann, one of 200 applicants selected out of a pool of more than 1,000, has worked with ECO this semester campaigning and collecting signatures for petitions for the conference.

“My attendance at the climate conference will be a continuation of this pressure on the U.S. government to do something to stop global warming,” she said. “My hope is that at the U.N. climate conference, the U.S. will give in.”

This conference in The Hague indirectly affects Michigan. James Clift, policy director of the Michigan Environmental Council, said the state of Michigan’s environment is clearly at stake.

“Global warming can affect the health of our Great Lakes, growing crops and the appearance of nuisance species,” Clift said.

Robert Hollister, an MSU doctoral student who’s studying the effects of global warming, said there is already enough scientific information for world governments to make informed decisions.

“The question is not whether climate will change in response to human activities,” he said, “But rather how much - magnitude, how fast - rate of change, and where - regional patterns.

“I believe it is important to act, and to act now.”

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