What can U.N. climate talks in Durban deliver?

SINGAPORE Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:29am EST

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Delegates from nearly 200 countries meet in South Africa from November 28 for major climate talks with the most likely outcome modest steps toward a broader deal to cut greenhouse gas pollution to fight climate change.

Years of fraught U.N.-led climate talks have so far failed to win agreement from all big polluting nations on stronger emissions curbs, despite soaring greenhouse gas emissions and a string of weather disasters across the globe.

The United Nations, the International Energy Agency and others say global pledges to curb carbon pollution won't prevent the planet heating up beyond two degrees Celsius, a threshold scientists say risks wilder weather, crop failures, melting ice caps and major floods.

Delegates meeting in Durban November 28 to December 9 won't reach agreement on a broader pact. But they do need to decide what to do with the Kyoto Protocol, which poorer nations insist must be extended beyond 2012 and which is the only treaty that sets carbon caps. Some countries now say a new deal will not be in place until after 2020.

Following are possible outcomes from Durban.


Chances: Very unlikely/next to impossible

Kyoto commits less than 40 rich nations to meeting binding emissions targets during 2008-12. But the 1997 pact doesn't include the United States -- which never ratified it -- and developing nations only have to take voluntary steps.

The Kyoto Protocol, in its current form, is out of date. It sets caps on countries that emit less than 30 percent of mankind's greenhouse gas emissions. Developing nations now emit more than 50 percent. The United States refuses to sign up to a broader pact unless it commits all major emitters to curbs.

Developing nations say Kyoto must first be extended and with new targets for rich nations covered by the pact.


Chances: Very likely

Such is the bitter disagreement between rich and poor nations, Durban will fail to agree on extending Kyoto into a second phase with updated binding targets.

Kyoto can still survive, though. It is a broad-based pact that covers provisions for regular reporting of emissions, market mechanisms that allow emissions trading and compliance. Many of the provisions can still function without new targets.

Many countries, rich and poor, are also taking steps to curb emissions as part of a global fight against climate change. These range from carbon trading schemes, policies that support renewable energy investment, to tougher energy efficiency and car fuel standards and carbon intensity targets.

But analysts say these are not enough to brake the pace of climate change or halt the growth in demand for fossil fuels.


Chances: Likely

Kyoto is likely to be saved in some form because of opposition from developing countries to letting it fade away.

The thinking is that if some way could be found to keep Kyoto alive, agreement could also be reached on an international scheme to verify each country's emission reduction pledges, new sources of cash to help poorer nations adapt to climate change impacts and transferring more clean energy technology to developing countries.

In short, a deal on Kyoto, even if it is a political agreement and not a legally binding one, could be the foundation for a broader legally binding pact later on.

How would this work?

Rich nations -- except the United States -- could agree to establish a second period under Kyoto in a political agreement in which emissions targets would be commitments and not legally binding caps. But Canada, Russia and Japan have vowed not to agree to a second period.

So a second option that has emerged is a "minimalist" Kyoto agreement in which the existing targets in the 2008-12 first period are merely extended for a couple of years.

Under this idea, key parts of the Kyoto pact, such as the emissions trading, regular reporting of emissions and compliance would also be included. This step would not need to be ratified by parliaments, either.


Chances: possible but unlikely

A deal on Kyoto is the linchpin and hosts South Africa are not keen to preside over failed talks.

A separate transparency framework is pretty much agreed -- this is a way for nations to scrutinize everyone's pledges to curb emissions. But a deal on Kyoto would be needed.

The design of a Green Climate Fund could also be agreed. The fund is designed to manage money for poorer nations to adapt to climate change. But the fund, meant to have at least $100 billion annually from 2020, is an empty shell awaiting new pledges from cash-strapped governments.

(Additional reporting by Nina Chestney in London and Barbara Lewis in Brussels; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

(Sources: Harvard University's Belfer Center, World Resources Institute, Reuters)

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Comments (3)
Secptor wrote:
Years of fraught U.N.-led climate talks have so far failed to win agreement from all big polluting nations on stronger emissions curbs, despite soaring greenhouse gas emissions and a string of weather disasters across the globe.

You did forget to mention that despite soaring greenhouse gas emissions temperator has not increased during last decade.

Nov 17, 2011 4:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Secptor wrote:
Poor nations need to know what to do with the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, because they need the funds from richer nations, and that’s the sole reason.

Nov 17, 2011 4:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Susanatt wrote:
COP17 Durban Africa once again puts us face to remind ourselves that the time is fulfilled and we take care of our mistakes. Past responsibility falls on the industrialized countries alone … but the Present and Future, must be shared by all.
The industrialized countries must take charge of economic debt, no doubt, but in terms of emissions and future, nobody can be exempt from accountability to the international collective, each proportionally.

On December 11, 2007, the Kyoto Protocol was 10 years and wrote asking how much responsibility has enabled China to have received the same framework “of small countries in process of development” during these 12 years of existence?

When I first wrote about the environmental situation in China and the respectful criticism of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, I referred to a country taken from the growth rates over the past ten years and the rates of total CO2 emissions the atmosphere measured in the year 2001.
Raised the concern that caused me to see how the drafters of the Kyoto Protocol (1997) had decided not to take the growth of China and India in the twentieth century and were excluded from the tables of the industrialized countries adding them to all countries … developing on a par with Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, etc..

With an abstract vision only two groups were assembled Annex I and non Annex I, this seems right. All that remained outside of Annex I, are in the race to develop … but do not think that in reality the starting line of each is very different. Subjectively, it is another. Ls obligations legally equate China with Bangladesh, for example, involves comparing the incomparable.

China and India, should have had a special treatment that the late twentieth st century and were taking their first steps in the linear development, following the same footsteps of the industrialized countries but with a plus, as they are steps quite long, almost would jump.
In these two countries the problem is exacerbated by population growth that is unlike that of any other country in the world and passed directly to join the countries of higher staple food consumption.

Now, confined to China, that warrant a separate analysis. I will say that the vision of this country is one, when I read about China and a very strong note and I felt that walking the streets of its cities and its countryside.
Talking to a college student in Shanghai told me proudly: “When China takes a step forward, Beijing and Shanghai da da two five.” Where the eye falls in the city is aware of the veracity of the statement of the young hang. The construction of the buildings does not stop at 24 hours, day and night can hear the sound of the buildings grow as Aliens. The desperation that produces the evidence of the unstoppable awakening of this country is concentrated in Xian, the cradle of the Empire … In the dynasty of the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang, (221-206 BC) was buried in his grave an army of 9,000 terracotta soldiers in size it is now a museum city, overloaded cars. When we started to approach, the distance is yellowish haze and as we immerse ourselves in it, we understood that it is a sticky bladed fan, the smog that the city summit. Cars and factories produce unmanageable amounts daily waste gases and particles in suspension, added to the dust brought by winds from the desert and a mortar mixed with moisture, strengthen the ingredients needed to transform the air is not recommended for Xian breathing.
But most worrying is the palpable reality to the naked eye, the biggest problem I noticed is the indifference of the people and the rulers who have set a prioritized plan to ensure China’s economic takeoff, and its agenda “seems” no bear the huge cost of environmental degradation. While China falls on the planet daily irreversible … the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 Set around small countries in process of development, they were able to achieve the rare privilege of serving in June 2007, first as emitters of CO2 into the atmosphere.
In ten years of the PK through the “case China,” shows he was born to be an instrument that suffered from predictability

Like other emerging countries, China signed the Protocol, and is participating in the Conference of the Parties (COP) but do not have to meet a specific objective or be controlled, so that PK is a “symbolic agreement” by which should only “report” on their emission levels and commit to develop programs to reduce …
Engage has been compromised but the numbers say that there are only promises
In these 10 years, China showed that the degree of responsibility and compormiso were invalid, becoming a particular problem by the use of coal in their industries.

“China could become the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world in 2007.” Mid-2006 said Yang Fuqiang, Vice President, Energy Foundation, an NGO that supports the Chinese government on energy issues and pollutants prediction was fulfilled
“The Chinese government will have to answer many questions from the international community and is a concern to them how to address this issue,” Yang said in a meeting with the foreign press.
With an economy growing at rates above 8%, is among the major pollutant emission amount but in turn, is favored by the measurement system of tables per-capita rate, due to overcrowding …
It will not be “prophetic” writing all this amount of gallons of ink and effort in the last decade, for reasons to enter the U.S. and Australia by the negative attitude to sign and implement the Kyoto Protocol, ignoring predictions almost all scientists in the field with the established IPCC report reaffirms the urgent need to restrict emissions, especially CO2 to the atmosphere in coming decades, might also have to be spent for our children and grandchildren in the near future but refer to China …

What causes burning in the growth of China, has opened its borders to foreign capital and metaphorically, we can say, “that the Chinese themselves who have been brought down the wall that isolated the capitalist world” forecast the progression of China’s middle class consumer up to 50% more in 2020.
It built the largest shopping center in the world and sports stadiums for 2008 were also the most complete sense of the word, monumental.
This strange association of nascent capitalism, which under a great Marxist political control and limited individual rights, allow large capitals, and abroad, seems to have been the result of extreme exploitation of natural assets and human overpopulation eager to succeed at any cost.
To this added to China not only grows producing degradation of their natural environment but also makes a high cost of the natural assets of other emerging countries have also prioritized economic over environmental.
China to feed its overpopulation must purchase large quantities of soybeans and corn being one of its suppliers Argentina has come to 18,000,000 hectares. planted with RR soya seeds or Genetically Modified Organism …
The Chinese government is currently in advanced talks to buy 350,000 Hs of land in Patagonia for the same purpose.

Would not it be possible that before that consolidates the full liberalization in the COP 16 is trying to change the paradigm with a 180 second, to achieve that growth in China and other Emerging further specifying in a different way, with new parameters vision of nature and not repeating the same wrong path of industrialized consumerism?

Global climate change is asking everyone in the world wisely and while understandable China’s desperation to recover years of suffocation and isolation (12) is also logical to understand that this is an overview of depletion by Metro intensive exploitation of natural assets, while accepting that others used it too much what she needs today must adapt to the real shortage is the only truth ”
And this is not discrimination or ask a country more than others, is to appeal to the generosity and pragmatism.

If we draw the gaze of the “keyhole”, accept that while the great powers have a certain responsibility as used in the past and which must assume, in the Present and the Future and not only the great powers are required to rethink their way of life, the Great New Emerging and other smaller countries, also

In this ravaged planet, there is no imaginable exempt from working and being monitored to account for their actions.

As I bring this truly the COP15 Conference of the Parties held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009? And all the previous COP 1 to 14?

If all of these international summits, “had” worked and the Kyoto Protocol including “any” (*) was an important tool to curb the DC Panel Documents Intergumental Clmatico Change, IPCC, they would not be showing such a negative conclusion the next generations.

With a broad vision of the actors in the climate change we see that there are many more than those who always said.
Emerging countries and some in developing countries, to realize their growth, despite its promises of self-assessable and declamations of “environmentalists” are using the same paradigm failed Economic development and consumption, the greedy and misguided goal that Nature is an infinite resource in the service of humans.

On the one hand we look at the countries extractive oil salesmen and the other buyers. (10)
Both are links in the same chain which carries the planet to a future end.

It is therefore humbly and from our small CSOs, we accept at this COP16 PK replacement, in 12 years that its rules were not able to stop or decrease the CC. This would be an important first step in the sincere to stop cover the sun with his hand and accept that no country can be saved either alone or accompanied by the 77 + China

If not displayed the seriousness of the problem in its entirety, we know that scientists have warned that it is impossible to find the solution that requires.

Susan Tibaldi
Mayu Environmental Association Sumaj
Cordoba, Argentina.
November 27, 2010
————————————————– ——
Lawyer (Univ. Nac.Cba., 1973)
Post Graduate in Environmental Economics (U. Nac. Of Cordoba, 1999)
Former President Mayu Sumaj Environmental Association (Pers.Jurd. 231 “A” 93) Córdoba – Argentina
1-Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions-Mex. Economic Fund. 1971
2-John Lovelock, Gaia: A new look at life on earth: Oxford University Press-1972
3 – Herman Daly: Economics, Ecology, Ethics, Fondo de Cultura Economica-Mex. Ed.1989
4-Elizabeth Sahtouris: Gaia the living Earth. Metro-Arg-1994
5-Martinez Alier Ecology and Economy, Fondo de Cultura Economica-Mex-1992
6 – Climate Change, UN Report Cop 10, Buenos Aires Dic.20047-1997 Kyoto Protocol
6-7-8-9) Annex china-energy
Monday, 03.19.2007 – In 2006 China consumed 15 percent of the world’s energy to produce 5.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a situation ‘unsustainable’ for sustainability in the words of a Chinese Vice Premier played today by the newspaper ‘China Daily’. T erra-News-Monday, March 19, 2007
10) He would not exist. Jean Paul Sartre

Venezuela will increase oil exports to China

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 22, 2009, 22:41 Caracas, Dec 22 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President, Mr Hugo Chávez, said today that future oil exports to China exceeded one million barrels per day, as part of the strategic alliance between both countries.

That way we said.

He noted that this projection in sight, will increase shipments in 2010 to 630,000 (currently around 500 thousand) from the agreement signed Tuesday with the visiting delegation.
We also spend a million soon.
“The United States sent two million barrels a day for years and its population is much smaller than China,” The president said the Venezuela-China energy agreement also includes the construction of three refineries in the Asian giant and the consolidation of a shipping company to ensure the transportation of crude oil.
All this according to the balance of the world and a multipolar world, said after the signing of 15 of the 29 new instruments of cooperation established during the meeting.
According to Mr. Chávez, Venezuela is committed to contribute to multilateralism in international relations.
The advanced state visit to Beijing next spring to promote bi-national ties.
In the delay is the danger, so we must streamline the existing agreements to sell the oil.
tgj / WMR
It seems that soon only to turn the page and look at another newspaper found that the oil becomes comparing China and then transformed into objects are sold to global consumerism:


December 27, 2009 Christmas “Made in China” Everything, pretty much everything you bought to celebrate Christmas these days, have the inevitable label “Made in China” on its back


12) BEIJING, 19 Nov. 2010 (Reuters) –
China said Friday it will not accept any agreement at COP16 in rich countries to accept greater international control over its cut emissions of greenhouse gases. CO2 emissions from China have doubled since 2000 and has surpassed the United States. Last year, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels accounted for a total of 7,500 million tonnes, 24 percent of the global total, according to BP

Nov 21, 2011 10:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
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