UN climate change summit- reduction greenhouse gas emission

UN climate change summit- reduction of greenhouse gas emission

1:22 AM, 14th December 2011
UN climate change summit- reduction of greenhouse gas emission
Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres speaks during a news conference in Durban next to the incoming COP 17 president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (right).

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: The United Nations climate talks in Durban are the last chance to agree on how the world should address the challenge of the ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Small countries such as Norway, Switzerland, and New Zealand stand out in the fight against climate change. They have very little political weight in the UN negotiations; they will obtain it when they align themselves with the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), the only region in the world with the statutory emissions reductions for the period beginning in 2012 through 2020. But the EU's 20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 will make little difference now that the U.S. and China, countries with decidedly the biggest pollution levels, are not willing to commit to a United Nations climate deal.

If the Durban delegates fail to agree on future actions, a dangerous vacuum will emerge, and greenhouse gas emissions will accelerate further. According to the International Energy Agency, with today’s emissions levels rising at an alarming pace, global temperature may increase by 6 degrees Celsius before the end of the century. Absent a new agreement, the EU countries, and hopefully, Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand, will be called upon to take the lead with their legally binding targets. But then it will also be their duty to introduce measures to protect economic competitiveness and jobs in order to avoid carbon emissions accumulation in countries not bound by any climate obligations. That is hardly ideal when one considers the importance of global trade growth, but all the warning signs are there that climate change is the greatest challenge of our time.


© WOC News



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