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   The 2011 UN Climate Summit  in Durban
    The 2011 UN Climate Summit Begins 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 decades.
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 latest.
  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. 

    EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard
   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. 

  Greenhouse gases 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.
        greenhouse gas emitter countries
  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


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