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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Parliament debate on opposition 'no confidence' motion to begin immediately, gov't reax
  • [02] Human activity causing global warming, climate panel finds

  • [01] Parliament debate on opposition 'no confidence' motion to begin immediately, gov't reax

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Friday tabled a no confidence vote in Parliament, while at the same time demanding early elections. He also announced that his party's MPs were withdrawing from debate on revision of the Constitution.

    In reply, Interior and Public Administration Prokopis Pavlopoulos said debate on the no confidence motion will begin immediately based on Article 142 of the Rules of Parliament.

    Based on the bylaw, debate will continue no later than the 12th evening of the third day from the commencement of debate with a roll call vote. For a no confidence motion to pass, it must be ratified by an absolute majority of the 300-deputy legislature (150 + 1).

    "Mr. Papandreou, in an effort to escape from his major internal party problems, and being in an obvious position of weakness, refuses (the process of) revision of the Constitution, which he is sacrificing to petty political and personal expediencies," alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said shortly after Papandreou's statement from Parliament.

    Caption: A view of the Greek Parliament building in this file photo dated Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006. ANA-MPA / P. Saitas.

    [02] Human activity causing global warming, climate panel finds

    A UN panel of scientists meeting in Paris all this week on Friday said that there was almost indisputable evidence that human activity over the past century was the cause global warming, increasing the probability to 90 percent.

    In a final text adopted unanimously by 2,500 scientists from 130 nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the warming of the climate was "unequivocal" and was very likely driven by humans and the burning of fossil fuels.

    The panel predicted that average global temperatures will rise by as much as 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, bringing more severe rains and floods, melting of arctic ice, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

    The updated report, also known as the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), significantly raises the probability of a human cause for global warming since the last report in 2001, when scientists said that climate change could be attributed to humans with a 66 percent probability.

    Eleven of the past 12 years have been the among the warmest years on record of global temperatures, while global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide "have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed preindustrial values," the report said.

    It also warns that continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates will cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would be much larger than those observed in the 20th century.

    The IPCC also noted that "numerous long-term changes in climate have been observed," that include changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, amount of rainfall, ocean salinity, wind patterns and extreme weather phenomena, including droughts and the intensity of tropical cyclones.

    The report was welcomed by environmental groups throughout the world as and end to the debate on whether humans were causing global warming and a signal to politicians to take strong action against it, urging governments to negotiate deeper emission cuts for greenhouse gases.

    Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said that the report must produce the "shift from doubting to having to act" while British Environment Secretary David Milliband said the time for "climate change deniers" was running out.

    The report was also welcomed by insurers, who said that one third of overall claims are from weather-related natural disasters.

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