In Brief 25
Durban - The end of climate diplomacy?
Overshadowed by the European crises and largely unnoticed by the international public, the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change took place from 28 November to 9 December. (2011)
Delegations from more than 190 countries, headed by their environmental ministers, will convene in Durban, South Africa. Since the disastrous conference in Copenhagen in 2009, skepticism has largely set in as to whether the world will be able to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius by the year 2100. But it is urgent that we do so, particularly to protect people in poorer regions from catastrophic consequences, according to climate researchers. Still, despite the already noticeable effects of global warming, Durban will not generate any globally binding and ambitious climate protection agreement. The conflicting interests between industrial, emerging and developing countries are too great; the need for development in poorer countries is too urgent; an the consensus that prosperity can only be achieved through increased use of fossil fuel is too firmly anchored. The minimum we expect from Durban is an agreement to implement the agenda adopted in Cancun. This includes greater commitment to emissions reduction goals and long term promises to finance the increasingly urgent adaptation policies in countries most affected by climate change.
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