Posts Tagged ‘Durban’

Certainty critical to the Climate Change Problem

December 13, 2011

Above all else right now what the world needs more than anything is both:

  • Commitment from the world to act to reduce the effects of global warming with every country committing to act to set targets to reduce CO2 emissions; and
  • Certainty about who is in and who is out and what the rules are going to be.


At Durban there was a very real risk that we achieved neither leaving the word to procrastinate about what to do. But we just don’t have the time sitting around for another 20 years (about, since Kyoto was first signed), while emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Doing nothing quite simply was not/is not an option us. For the world!

Yes of course in the day’s, weeks, months and indeed years ahead, the debate will rage on. Was it enough or was it too much?

The fact is we now have something. A place to start where there remains an enormous amount of follow up work to do to interpret at country levels exactly what the Durban agreement means and how it will impact and play out country by country. But at least we have a starting reference point that is committed to by the world at large – developed economies to developing economies, small to large to very large economies. We have far greater certainty.

Stable  Government and domestic policy

The Prime Minister John Key who’s party has been reelected to Government in New Zealand for a further three-year term with the announcement of Hon Dr. Nick Smith and, Hon Tim Groser reconfirmed as Ministers of Environment and Climate Change, and International negotiations on Climate Change respectively.

This can only be a very good thing for New Zealand’s contribution to the international global warming challenge where again this ensures continuity of policy domestically in line with the  new international Durban agreement:


Climate Change Ministers Nick Smith and Tim Groser have warmly welcomed the outcome of the UN Climate Change negotiations which concluded successfully in Durban today.

They paid tribute to the leadership provided by the host, South Africa, which paved the way for a truly comprehensive international agreement.

“This agreement meets all the realistic expectations the New Zealand delegation had when it arrived in South Africa two weeks ago,” Mr Groser said.

The agreement:

  • Maintains the legal structure of the existing Kyoto Protocol while improving rules in the treatment of land use and forestry. These changes have environmental integrity and make more sense for New Zealand moving forward;
  • Reinforces commitments made in principle by all major emitters at Cancun last year for the period beyond 2012 to 2020 and thus ensures a far more comprehensive international approach to combating climate change than the very partial coverage a Kyoto deal alone would have secured. At the request of the South African Government, Mr Groser facilitated these negotiations;
  • Crucially, foreshadows a single new international agreement beyond 2020 (the “Durban Platform”) that will bring all major emitters, developed and developing, within a legally binding framework;
  • Unlocked the way forward for the $100 billion Green Climate Fund designed to assist developing countries meet the adaptation and mitigation challenges they face.
Read more here ..

New Zealand has to be in great shape to continue to practically play it’s role in combating global warming given the greater certainty provided by the new Durban agreement.

What do you think?


The planet breathes a huge sigh of relief today

December 11, 2011

UN climate talks agree a legal pact on Global warming

Amid all the dooms-dayers, the UN climate change talks in Durban (South Africa) agreed a pact this morning that for the first time would force all the biggest polluters to take action to slow the pace of global changing.

Conference of the Parties Plenary

Conference of the Parties Plenary


The deal follows years of failed attempts to impose legally-binding, international cuts on emerging giants, such as China and India.

The developed world had already accepted formal targets under a first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out at the end of next year, although the United States had never ratified its commitment.

After days of emotional debate, the chairwoman of the United Nations climate talks urged delegates to approve four packages, which have legal force.

“We came here with plan A, and we have concluded this meeting with plan A to save one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren to come,” South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said.

“We have made history,” she said, bringing the hammer down on more than two weeks of sometimes fractious talks in the South African port of Durban, the longest in two decades of UN climate talks.

The deal was welcomed by Brazil, one of the globe’s emerging economic powers.

“I am relieved we have what we came here to get. We have a robust outcome, an excellent text about a new phase in the international fight against climate change. It clearly points to action,” said Brazil’s climate envoy Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

The Durban talks had been due to wrap up on Friday, but dragged into a second extra day on Sunday because of disputes over how to phrase the legal commitment.

The European Union pushed for strong wording and the three biggest emitters the United States, China and India resisted.

“We’ve had very intense discussions, we were not happy with reopening the text, but in the spirit of flexibility and accommodation shown by all, we have shown our flexibility, we have agreed to the words you just mentioned and we agree to adopt it,” India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

But environmentalists and small island states, which fear they literally could sink under the rising sea levels caused by climate change, have said it is still not strong enough.

Source: The Daily Star

While it is literally only a matter of a couple of hours or so since the negotiations have ended with this new agreement, and the full agreement details understood and interpreted, this has to be a very, very good day to see all the countries of the world step up.

What do you think?

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