Saturday, 10 December 2011

Durban May Be Close to An Emission Deal

An agreement on new measures to combat climate change may be within reach.  COP 17 has already run one day beyond its planned conference day, however there is confidence that a draft plan may be available today.  A draft plan was issued, which seems to address the concern of all parties.

Much has been made in Canada of the Alberta Oil Sands, which are a great target of environmentalists, however according to the German Environment Minister, Norbert Roettgen, the main blockers of a deal are the U.S., China and India. 

The facts are that Canada is eighth in the ranking of emitters, with the United States, China, Russia, Japan, India, Germany and the UK all emitting more than Canada.

Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister, has threatened to pull out of Kyoto if the largest emitters are not included in a treaty. 

The draft, which will be negotiated today, would propose a "roadmap" towards a new deal encompassing all countries and would begin in the New Year to be completed by 2015 at the latest.

That has been the central demand of the European Union and scores of countries vulnerable to climate impacts, including the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) bloc.

The draft will not include a binding formula, concession to the United States, which will probably be challenged by the Alliance of Island States.
If accepted, the agreement would also spell out - for the first time in the UN climate process - that there is a mismatch, a gap, between the pledges countries have already made on cutting emissions and the cuts necessary to keep global temperatures within 2C of pre-industrial levels.
Developing countries have insisted that EU nations must put their existing pledges on restricting emissions under the Kyoto Protocol; and this is also in the drafts.

That does not mean tougher cuts in Europe in the near future, but it would put EU pledges under an international legal framework.
Agreement on managing the Green Climate Fund, which will eventually gather and disburse finance amounting to $100bn per year to help poor countries develop cleanly and adapt to climate impacts, also appears within reach.  BBC
Climate change has been a hot issue in both Canada and the U.S.  There are those that like to tout a dooms day scenario, while others will accept that there is climate change, but are conflicted that it is in fact human made or a natural phenomena.  E-Mails released earlier and again prior to COP 17, also saw conflicts among scientists, some of whom questioned the validity of the data.  

The Alberta Oil Sands have been the whipping boy of environmentalists professing that the development will spell the end of the planet.   This has also influenced the decision on the XL Keystone Pipeline, with America's so-called "Green President" kicking the decision down the road until at least 2013.  Yet the United States is one of the countries blocking the road to an agreement.  Go figure. 

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