【非選題】IV. Based on the passage below, devise 5 Reading Comprehension Questions in terms of the
1. The theme 2. Supporting details 3.Inference 4. Vocabulary 5. Global comprehension
Turning on the Heat at COP15
The 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bella Center in
Copenhagen, Denmark, December 7-18, 2009. “COP15” was finally a disappointment to many of
those who attended, and a sign of hope for at least a few. Of course, when it comes to these
international conferences on climate change, such an outcome is nothing new.
At the Kyoto Conference in Japan in 1990, each participating country was asked to reduce its
total carbon emissions by at least 5.2% of its 1990 level by the year 2012. It was also stipulated
that those who exceeded this emissions limit would have to pay a kind of tax to the less
developed countries, whose emissions would be way under the limit. Some developed countries
(including the USA) habitually exceed the limit and are reluctant to pay the tax. There has thus
been increasing tension in the past decade, not only between the commercial developers and the
environmentalists in the most developed countries, but also between richer and poorer countries.
The latter complain that their rich neighbors are ruining the earth’s environment for everyone,
while also not giving them enough money to help them develop.
Thus COP15 predictably closed with a deal that many participating nations thought too weak;
it fell far short of what was needed to really tackle the problem of global warming. The
non-binding accord, which the US reached with key nations including China and Brazil, asks that global temperature increases be kept to no more than 2℃ in the 21st century. However, it does
not include commitments to specific emissions reductions on the part of the various participating
countries, and without such legally-binding commitments it is not at all clear how any goals can
Moreover, it is still up to the various national governments to even adopt the COP15 accord.
If they do so, participating countries will be obliged to take measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and start preparing to help the poor countries both develop and adapt to climate change.
The plan is for a full legal agreement to be signed within a year. But again, the “legal” issue is
always the key problem. In spite of the United Nations, there is no real enforceable set of
international laws. However, if delegates to COP15 were generally pessimistic at the end of the
conference, there was still a certain amount of hope in the air. British prime minister called the
agreement "vital first step." US President Obama said, “This progress is not enough. We have
come a long way, but we have much further to go."
Very poor countries in Africa and other tropical regions, which are the most vulnerable to
global warming, were furious. They had wanted deeper emission cuts, a maximum global
temperature rise of 1.5 C in this century, and even a worldwide 80% reduction of global CO2
emissions by 2050. Lumumba Di-Aiping, president of Sudan in Africa’s Sahara desert, compared
the final agreement to the Europe’s 1940s Holocaust, during which many Jews were killed and
burned in ovens. He said this was like “asking Africa to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact
in order to maintain the economic dependence of a few countries.”