Learning English - Words in the News
02 December, 2005 - Published 12:09 GMT
Spain's greenhouse gas problem
With a major international conference on climate change beginning this week in Montreal the Spanish government has admitted that it's embarrassed by the huge increase in the country's emission of greenhouse gases. This report from Chris Morris:
The European Union was one of the main driving forces behind the Kyoto Protocol but it's struggling to meet its commitments. Spain has the worst record of all. Greenhouse gas emissions are up by more than forty percent in fifteen years.
In a BBC interview, the Spanish environment minister, Cristina Narbona, admitted that that was an embarrassment. We're all a bit ashamed, she said - much more needs to be done in Spain and across Europe. True to political form, she put the blame for Spain's dismal performance on the former government which left office last year. She spoke of the need for new ecological taxes, a rise in the price of electricity and a cultural revolution in the way companies and private citizens use energy.
She said the Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Zapatero, was personally committed to the climate change agenda. But environmentalists warn that unless political leaders act on their promises, Spain and the EU in general will fail to meet their Kyoto targets by 2012.
Chris Morris, BBC News, Madrid
one of the main driving forces behind
the Kyoto Protocol
it's struggling to meet its commitments
True to political form
the climate change agenda
act on their promises