Tough path ahead to implement Durban agreements
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Global warming will once again take the center of the world political stage this week, with interim climate talks in Bonn, Germany, aimed at trying to nail down a few more details on agreements reached in principal at last December’s COP 17 in Durban.
The South African sessions ended with all countries, including China and India, agreeing that worldwide carbon reductions are needed. The hard part is how to get there. That’s what delegates will be discussing in Bonn this week.
A big part of the talks will focus on the financial task of building a Green Climate Fund to support poor nations most vulnerable to climate change. That won’t be an easy task, considering the continued anemic performance of economies in developed countries, and especially Europe, teetering on the verge of yet another financial crisis.
This week’s talks are rooted in in the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aimed at finding ways to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.
By 1995, countries realized that emission reductions provisions in the Convention were inadequate. They launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ends in 2012.
At COP17 in Durban, governments of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol decided that a second commitment period, from 2013 onwards, would seamlessly follow the end of the first commitment period.