UN Climate Change Conference Finally at an End!

The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali was concluded this week on a high after the long awaited submission of the United States to the agreement that will form the basis of the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The United States was proving the biggest hurdle in reaching a common agreement among the 10,000 participants to this conference, which was called to identify and form targets for a global warming pact.

The US was blocking progress by refusing to agree to the ‘Bali Roadmap’, which effectively is an agreement containing schedules on emission cuts and transfer of clean technology to poor and developing countries. The US submission came after a very public statement from ex-vice president Al Gore blaming the US for blocking progress in Bali for their own economic gain.

The intense conference lasted 11 hours and caused emotions to run high at some points, but we have walked away with an agreement which applies to all 190 nations involved, and has paved the way for a new schedule after the Kyoto Protocol runs out in 2013 – including emissions reductions from developing countries, and fair and equal contributions from developed countries. The things that are missing, however, are points on deforestation, and actual targets agreed for emissions cut. At the moment the agreement is non-binding, and it is thought the real battle will come in 2009 when agreements for official numbers and targets are to be set. I think it is then that we shall see just how sincere the US are about this issue, or whether it was lipservice brought about by fear of losing face under mass peer objection. After all, the US never does like to admit it’s wrong…..

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