Draft deal targets legally binding agreement on emissions
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Politics, economics and science clashed once again at the COP17 climate talks in Durban, but after a week of maneuvering and posturing, world leaders in the end did manage to draw up a document that once again acknowledges the threat of global warming and calls for renewed efforts to cut greenhouse gases.
The draft agreement released Friday calls for the “widest possible cooperation by all countries … with a view to accelerate the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The agreement also expresses “grave concern” about the significant gap between promises and realities and aims to create a legally binding protocol that would commit countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The European Union helped move the talks forward, with EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard saying that time is running out to get a mandate together for a future legally binding deal.
Hedegaard told journalists that the EU has been negotiating a roadmap that will bind all large economies from both the developed and developing countries to target to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Politicians and senior officials at the international high-level talks haggled into the early hours of Friday morning as they tried to make a deal on either an extension to the Kyoto Protocol, or the formal establishment of the Green Climate Fund, two items deemed critical by some countries at the talks.
Here’s the draft agreement that circulated late Friday: