What Can We Expect From the Durban Climate Talks?

Next week, Climate Progress will be heading to the COP 17 climate conference in Durban, South Africa, to report on any developments coming out of the meeting.

Hopes are not high for any major progress. But Andrew Light, coordinator of international climate policy at the Center for American Progress, warns against making assumptions about what will or will not happen.

Since the failure to get an international climate treaty in 2009, negotiators have focused on setting aside funds for adaptation and mitigation programs in developing countries. One of the goals at this year’s meeting will be to nail down specific commitments to the Green Fund, an international pool of money that was designed to reach $100 billion a year by 2020. If the international community is able to agree on the details of the fund, it would be a very positive step.

There will also be a debate about whether or not to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or to let it expire and work toward a new global agreement to reduce carbon emissions. CAP’s Light says there will be “a clash between these two competing agendas.”

To hear more about what we may see coming out of climate talks over the next two weeks, watch the interview with Andrew Light below:

4 Responses to What Can We Expect From the Durban Climate Talks?

  1. EDpeak says:

    Bless your heart CAP for cheering for what can be achieved, I agree withyou..but a bit brushing under the rug the disaster of no followup to kyoto (and unlike the “EU only” in the video above it’s EU plus many developing countries, though your point about % of total world emissions would still not be very far off..which is to the shame of the big emitters) BBC’s take (Richard Black’s that is) at

    “As this year’s UN climate summit opens, some of the developing world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters are bidding to delay talks on a new global agreement.

    “To the anger of small islands states, India and Brazil have joined rich nations in wanting to start talks on a legal deal no earlier than 2015.

    “..increasingly, countries are dividing into one group that wants a new global treaty as soon as possible – the EU plus lots of developing countries – and another that prefers a delay and perhaps something less rigorous than a full treaty. the Major Economies Forum (MEF) meeting ..the UK and others argued that the Durban summit should agree to begin work on a new global agreement immediately, to have it in place by 2015, and operating by 2020 at the very latest.

    The US, Russia and Japan were already arguing for a longer timeframe. But BBC News has learned that at the MEF meeting, Brazil and India took the same position.

    “Brazil wants the period 2012-15 to be a “reflection phase”, while India suggested it should be a “technical/scientific period”.

    China, now the world’s biggest emitter, is said by sources to be more flexible, though its top priority for Durban is the Kyoto Protocol.

    “The planet has no other sustainable alternative other than to ensure the continuity of the Kyoto Protocol, through a second commitment period starting in 2013,” said Jorge Arguello, leader of the Argentinian delegation, which this year chairs the powerful G77/China bloc of 131 nations.”The adoption of a second commitment period for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions under the Kyoto Protocol is not only a political imperative and a historical responsibility, but a legal obligation that must be faced as such.”

    Although the EU does not oppose a second commitment period, other developed nations do.

    “The US, Russia, Japan and Canada have all argued for delaying negotiations on this for various domestic political reasons.President Nasheed of the Maldives [said] equating the need to develop with the right to emit greenhouse gases is..”rather silly”.

    Final point:

    There is widespread scepticism about the much smaller funds – $10bn per year – that developed nations are already supposed to be contributing under the Fast Start Finance agreement made in 2009.

    Developing countries say only a small fraction of what has been pledged is genuinely “new and additional”, as it is meant to be; and that little has actually materialized.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Great news that CP again is present at the most important international climate treaty summit. Last time Stephen Lacey was bringing us first hand reports…

  3. Joe Romm says:

    He’s going again!

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    A word to the wise-do not believe anything that the BBC says about anything. In my opinion no organ of disinformation serves the powers-that-be more slavishly and with greater self-regard and conceit than this thoroughly Thatcherised and Blairified propaganda service.