Who really won at the Durban, South Africa climate talks, the planet, or the governments involved? Despite the politically correct theme of, “Working Together, Saving Tomorrow Today”, the climate talks may not have really helped out the planet. But, it may have averted a politically embarrassing episode for the 194 countries that came together to try to stem global warming. The fact that they agreed to some type of global emissions pact is a start, though environmental groups that attended do not feel the pact has any teeth to it, nor will the pact stem global warming. Any emission cuts negotiated still need to be ratified by each country’s political process before the pact can go into effect. The new agreement does provide for an extension of the currently in place Kyoto pact, despite not having the world’s two largest polluters as signatories on that pact- the U.S. and China. The new pact signed by the delegates include establishing general tenets on transparency for reporting and monitoring individual national emissions, a commitment to creating new market mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gases and new rules for earning emissions credits tied to carbon capture and storage projects. Carbon-capture and storage is a controversial technology that critic’s say has not yet proven able to permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The meeting also produced a path toward establishing the so-called Green Climate Fund, which would provide up to $100 billion annually to help poor nations develop and implement clean-energy technologies, reduce their emissions and adapt to changes in the climate that can’t be avoided. This was the 17th time country’s from around the world met to forge a climate pact.
Photo Courtesy: American Independent