Durban delegates reach international climate change deal

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

DURBAN, South Africa, Dec. 11 - Negotiators at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties found enough common ground to strike a deal on climate change, albeit one with plenty of details yet to be negotiated.

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The decision puts the world on a path to negotiating a legal climate agreement - one that involves all major emitters including the US, India and China - that would enter into force in 2015, according to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Participants agreed to replace the 20-year old system that required only industrialized nations to cut emissions.

The “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” also commits parties to a second commitment for the Kyoto Protocol and provides a plan to advance implementation of the Cancun Agreement on financing, through the Global Climate Fund (GCF); technology; response measures; and reduced emissions from avoided deforestation, noted ICTSD.  However, the group says the package “falls short of expectations on the inclusion of agriculture in any long-range action.”

“Importantly, the agreement reaffirms the goal of capping global warming at a maximum of 2°C. However, it also notes with “grave concern” that current commitments will not meet that goal and launches a work plan that will help improve ambition on the issue,” ICTSD noted.


Negotiators did not agree on sources for the Green Climate Fund, which would include a promised $100 billion a year in public and private funds by 2020 to assist developing nations in adapting to climate change and the conversion to clean energy sources. The Fund would be managed by a 24 member board, composed of an equal number of developed and developing country members.


However, they did agree that the World Bank will serve as the interim trustee of the Fund for the first three years after its operationalisation. Washington had been pushing for the Bank to be designated as the trustee, insisting that the Fund must be managed by an international organisation with experience in managing funds globally, according to ICTSD.


In a statement released Sunday, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that the Durban climate talks “have brought us to an important moment where all nations will be covered in the same roadmap toward a long-term solution for the climate crisis-the greatest challenge facing our planet.

"America must not wait to begin the hard work of achieving real reductions in carbon emissions, even as the negotiations to implement the Durban accord continue.  If we don't delay, the United States will develop the technologies the world will use to address the crisis, and we will create jobs and strengthen our economy as a result.




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