Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Durban, Canada and Kyoto

I am glad to say that I was proven wrong.  The COP17 Climate talks at Durban did produce something of significance.
The agreement seems to have a few major points.
  • "Stopping the Clock" on the Kyoto Protocol
  • A new legally binding agreement which will include China, The US and India, to be negotiated over the next few years with a treaty to come into force by 2020
  • The setting up of a green investment fund to aid low carbon development
This is all good! However it is no panacea.  As the Tyndall Centre  has said, global CO2 emissions have risen to a record 10 billion tonnes, an increase of 49% since 1990, the reference year for the Kyoto Protocol.

The governments involved have also yet to declare the scale of their reductions and timescale, 2020 may well be too late. 

Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol is disturbing, given ongoing ecocide of the Alberta Tar Sands and the political pressures and connections associated with this, as well as the possible outlook regarding the exploitation of the Arctic.  It also highlights that there are no guarantees that other countries will not walk away from their commitments down the line, even if they have signed a legally binding treaty.