The talks in Durban are centred on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, but all conversation seems bleak as Kyoto might not be significant after COP17. Charlotte Reid has more.
US research centre, the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), says there is no chance that the Kyoto Protocol will be meaningful after the climate change talks in Durban.
Eileen Clauseen, from C2ES, told reporters that she believes there is almost no chance that all the nations taking part in the talks will come to an agreement. “We think Kyoto will emerge alive from the conference, but it will be on life support.”
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and it is an international agreement between 37 countries, including the UK, France and New Zealand. It established binding targets for countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement was then ratified in 2001 by 191 states. One notable country that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol is America because George Bush thought it would increase energy prices in the US.
The talks in Durban are important for the agreement as it is a chance to set up more targets before the current stages of the Kyoto Protocol run out in 2012.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that Canada is considering withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. The rumour started after the Canadian environment minister, Peter Kent, said that Kyoto was a thing of the past. Canada has not yet confirmed if they will be pulling out though.
China has called out Canada for its actions saying they are “setting a bad example” to other developed countries.
Whilst developed countries are debating whether to renew their commitments to cutting carbon emissions, developing countries have been making the point that they are feeling the effects of global warming now and want to add some urgency to the talks.
To follow what happens at COP17, read Blue & Green Tomorrow’s coverage. Four practical steps you can take yourself would be to speak to your financial advisers or let us find one for you through our online form, switch to renewable energy, make your Christmas as ethical as possible, and if you are going to Durban, look at one of our sustainable travel partners.