Sun, May. 30, 2004

Parliamentary Transcripts

CK - Washington.   On May 26, 2004, the press office of the federal diet in Berlin released a statement in defense of its speaker, Wolfgang Thierse, whom the Bild paper accused of changing a parliamentary transcript.

The press office explains that transcripts need not be verbatim; rather, it has always been standard practice to correct mistakes and eliminate redundancies. If I remember correctly, the Congressional Record does not reflect every utterance verbatim, and members have, or used to have, an opportunity to replace their statements with more accurate versions. Perhaps there is a good reason to distinguish the treatment of testimony by witnesses and experts and statements from politicians, although it escapes me right now.

Gaseous Emissions Deal

CK - Washington.   Yesterday, the Conference Commission for the Federal Diet, Bundesrat, and the Upper Chamber, Bundestag, submitted a Conference Bill to both chambers which would reduce red tape in the trade and permit process for gaseous emissions, the Gesetz über den Handel mit Berechtigungen zur Emission von Treibhausgasen, which implements the E.U. Directive 2003/87 on climate change as a Kyoto Protocol mechanism.

Instead of introducing a separate permit system, the Upper Chamber representing the states, Länder, wanted to combine the administration of the permits law with the process already in place for other emissions, and won. Next, the diet will review, and possibly pass, the bill. Then, the Upper Chamber may pass the bill at its next plenary session on June 11, 2004.

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