Global warming could lead to new 'Cold War'

24th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Action is needed to ensure that global warming does not trigger new conflicts, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a climate conference on Tuesday.

24 October 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Action is needed to ensure that global warming does not trigger new conflicts, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a climate conference on Tuesday.

"We must take steps to avert a Cold War on the North Pole," the minister said in reference to the scramble by Russia and other states to claim the region's vast energy reserves.

Such claims had to be decided under the aspects of international law, the minister told the day-long gathering sponsored by German energy provider EnBW.

"We have to realize that here we can only win together or lose together," he added.

Keynote speaker at the event is former US president Al Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for raising awareness about the effects of man-made global warming.

Russia made claims to the Arctic early August when a research submarine planted a Russian flag on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. The move triggered counter-claims by Canada, Denmark and other states bordering the resource-rich territory.

Steinmeier said the North Pole was not the only region threatened by disputes as a result of climate change. Nations in Africa and Asia could also find themselves in embroiled in conflict, he added.

The conference takes place amid a new report that the Earth's atmosphere is accumulating carbon dioxide much faster than expected, and the planet's oceans and trees are also not absorbing as much CO2 as they used to.

The report to the National Academy of Sciences said the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 is "increasing rapidly."

Gore, who served as US vice president under Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, has become perhaps the most prominent activist against global warming.

His smash hit climate documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar this year and led to calls for him to run again for president in 2008 after losing the disputed 2000 vote to George W Bush.

DPA

Subject: German news

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