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How can COP17 Durban be seen as a success?

Posted by Lindy on December 21, 2011

According to Jonathan Shopley at

The full article can be found above. Here is a summary of what Jonathon believes are the main points:

All nations have agreed to a legally binding agreement by 2020 to cut 7 greenhouses gases ( including a new one NF3 – Nitrogen trifluoride –which is 17,000 x as bad as CO2) based on a agreement to finalized by 2015. This includes the USA, China and India , which was a major sticking point until now.

Also solid progress was made on the promised US$100bn/year Green Climate Fund to help with mitigation in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Tuvalu. Also some progress was made towards funding REDD+. In particular, with the move to allow private companies to fund forestry protection projects in developing countries

Some progress was made on the Clean Redevelopment Mechanism, which allow carbon capture, under strict conditions, to qualify. Other issues on CDM were put in the ‘too hard box’ and decisions were put off until COP18 in Doha.

[carbon capture are technological fixes that lock up CO2 underground in a secure way, e.g. removing CO2 from fossil fuel burning power stations in solid form].

Outstanding problems:

1. Action is being put off for 10 years when the scientists say we have not got that long.

2. These actions will miss the 20650 target of 2 deg C and are now aiming to keep temperature rises below 4 deg C for 2100.

3. Mitigation – action taken to eliminate or reduce the long-term risk – has been too high up the list, when in reality we need to be working on adaptation – adjustment to the new or changing environment. This is because by delaying the mitigating activities to 2020, they well be too late to do more than reduce the long term risks – any thought of eliminating change completely is now past.

What has happened to the Kyoto Protocol?

Due to rum for another year, and with the hope before COP17 of it being extended, this opportunity has now been lost, as USA was never in, Canada and Russia are pulling out now, with every chance that New Zealand and Russia will follow suit, leaving just 15% of global emissions covered by it – a damp squib!


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