The 2011 UN Climate Summit in Durban
U.N. climate conference 2011 reached a hard-fought agreement
on December 10, 2011
A U.N. climate conference 2011 in Durban reached a hard-fought
agreement on December 10, 2011 on a complex and far-reaching program meant to set a
new course for the global fight against climate change for the coming
The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord
that would put all countries under the same legal regime enforcing commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at
The deal also set up the bodies that will collect, govern and distribute
tens of billions of dollars a year for poor countries. Other documents
in the package lay out rules for monitoring and verifying emissions reductions, protecting forests, transferring clean technologies to
developing countries and scores of technical issues.
The 2011 UN Climate Summit Begins in Durban The UN climate Summit 2011 commenced on 28 November in Durban, South
Africa and is due to run for two weeks. The main objective of the meeting is to establish a new climate treaty to replace or extend the
Kyoto Protocol when it expires at the end of 2012. Prior to the meeting,
it became clear that individual nations were polarized in their expectations from Durban.
The summit is officially referred to as the 17th session of the
Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th session of the
Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol.
European Union climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard at the Durban conference
With only a few hours of negotiations still to run at the marathon
United Nations climate change talks in Durban, the European Union's climate chief made an impassioned call to
the remaining large economies holding out on a deal to join its plan.
China, the US and India are the three remaining major economies that have yet to make clear signals on the EU proposal, which
is a roadmap to begin negotiations on a new legally binding treaty on global warming that would kick in from 2020.
The negotiations will aim to move ahead, in a balanced fashion, the
implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements,
reached at COP 16 last December. However, the ultimate goal of the Convention is to stabilise greenhouse
gas concentrations at a level that will thwart dangerous human interference with the climate system.
For this year, around 25,000 people are visited Durban during the UN climate conference.
The 2011 UN Climate Summit Key issues
Stress on Kyoto and emission reduction targets : The UN Climate summit would stress on the future of Kyoto Protocol, which expires
at the end of 2012. There are doubts over the fate of COP 17 with the top emitting countries such as the US, Russia and China
refusing to commit themselves to reductions of various forms of greenhouse gases.
Financing the UN Green Climate Fund : United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on world
leaders to collaborate in financing the UN multibillion-dollar fund to
combat global warming,but there are already qualms on the financial
commitment in view of the current global economic crisis. Plans to establish the USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund, dedicated to taming
the ‘damaging’ effects of climate change in developing countries, has
hit a big hurdle after the US and Saudi Arabia failed to support it.
Complete ban on unilateral trade measures: India
and a number of countries have proposed a complete ban on ‘unilateral trade measures’ on grounds related to climate change.
India proposed that such measures would have the ultimate effect of pushing the burden of climate change policies on to developing nations.
Eurozone crisis: Experts are concerned that Eurozone crisis may restrain the billions of dollars of
funding from industrialised countries to their poorer counterparts to
adapt to climate change. With financial crisis deepening in Europe and
US, the money pledged by developed countries is unlikely to be seen.
emitted by top five nations
More than half of all carbon pollution released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national
ranking of greenhouse gas emissions released December 1, 2011. The first 10 countries on the list, made available during UN climate
talks in Durban, South Africa, account for two-thirds of global
emissions, said the report, compiled by British-based firm Maplecroft, specialists in risk analysis.
China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan top the
ranking, with Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Iran just behind.
Three of the top six nations are energy-hungry emerging giants
developing their economies at breakneck speed. China, which
eclipsed the United States several years ago to head the list,
produced 9,441 megatons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e), a measure that
combines C02 with other heat-trapping gases such as methane and nitrous
oxide. India produced 2272.45 megatons of CO2e, a significant portion from methane generated by agriculture.
Brazil's output of 1,144 megatons from energy use would be significantly higher if deforestation were taken into account.
Among advanced economies, the United States -- No. 1 among large nations
for per capita emissions -- produced 6,539 megatons of CO2e. Russia, at 1,963 megatons, ranked fourth. Its emissions dropped after
the collapse of the Soviet Union, but are expected to rise. In Japan, where output was at 1,203 megatonnes of CO2e, safety fears
over nuclear power could lead to a greater reliance on fossil fuels -- and a spike in carbon emissions, Laws said.
Consensus on global climate agreement
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and organizers for the summit are hoping for some kind of
miracle to happen among the parties in agreeing to forge a consensus of
a single, legally binding, global climate agreement. With expectations of success already low for the Durban talks, it is being
speculated that the summit is unlikely to meet its ultimate goal. The developed countries at present are more concerned about the current global
economic woes and escalating debt crisis than impact of climate change.
In the UN climate Summit 2011,
two major groups of countries have emerged. Some developing nations and the EEC are looking for binding agreements to limit global warming to
2 degree C or less. Some small island states are looking for agreements to limit warming to less than
1.5 degree C. Agreements signed now could be in place by 2015.
The second group of countries want to put off action until 2018 or
even 2020, preferring to use the intervening period as a time to gather more scientific evidence. These countries include USA,
Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil and India, which include some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases
At present, China and United States are world's largest greenhouse gas
emitters. Greenhouse gases emissions are also seriously mounting in India. India is currently world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter.
Qatar will host the COP18 climate taks 2012
Qatar will host the COP18 climate talks 2012, the UNFCCC confirmed on Deceber 1, 2011.
Qatar has beaten South Korea in a bid to host the next round of international climate change talks scheduled for December 2012.
COP18 will take place from 26 November to 7 December 2012 and is likely
to be held in Qatar's captial of Doha. South Korea will host a key transitional meeting to help ministers prepare for the event.
The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali
The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali concluded on December 15, 2007 with an agreement
between nearly 190 countries to take "active" measures against global warming.
The agreement, reached after several days of talks, calls on developing nations to take "actions" to mitigate climate change in a
"measurable, reportable, and verifiable" manner. Developing countries, such as China and India, as well as developed countries like
the United States, will face a new level of accountability and pressure to reduce emissions under the next global climate-change pact.
For the first time in the history of climate change talks, the United States has come to the table collaborative in negotiating a viable solution.
Paula Dobriansky, deputy U.S. secretary of state and a leader of the American delegation, called the accord "a new chapter in climate diplomacy" and said the U.S. is "very committed to developing a long-term global
greenhouse gas reduction emission goal."
More than 200 leading climate scientists have warned the United Nations Climate Conference of the need to act immediately to
cut greenhouse gas emissions, with a window of only 10-15 years for global
emissions to peak and decline, and a goal of at least a 50 per cent reduction by
2050. Top climate researchers includes five University of East Anglia
scientists: Prof Corinne Le Quéré , Prof Andrew Watson, Dr Dorothee Bakker, Dr Erik Buitenhuis and Dr Nathan Gillett.
The scientists warn that if immediate action is not taken, many millions of
people will be at risk from extreme events such as heat waves, drought, floods
and storms, with coasts and cities threatened by rising sea levels, and many
ecosystems, plants and animal species in serious danger of extinction.
Prof Le Quéré said: "Climate change is unfolding very fast. There is only one
option to limit the damages: stabilise the concentration of CO2 and other
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. "There is no time to waste. I urge the negotiators in Bali to stand up to the
challenge and set strong binding targets for the benefit of the world population."
The Bali Declaration endorses the latest scientific consensus that every effort
must be made to keep increases in the globally averaged surface temperature to
below 2 degrees C. The scientists say that "to stay below 2 degrees C, global
emissions must peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years". The critical
reductions in global emissions of greenhouse gases and the atmospheric stabilisation target highlighted in the Bali Declaration places a
tremendous responsibility on the Bali United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change. Negotiations at Bali must start the process of reaching a new global agreement
that sets strong and binding targets and includes the vast majority of the nations of the world.
Vedio - Climate Summit in Durban