Climate Change | Centre for Science and Environment

Climate Change


What’s critical at Durban: removing the firewall between developing and developed countries

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Durban, December 6: Remove the firewall at all costs: this sums up what the rich countries are doing in the climate negotiations at Durban to remove the differentiation between past polluters – responsible for climate change impacts currently occurring – and the future polluters, who need ecological space to grow. 

This is the core of the politics at the Durban conference on climate change. The rich countries are doing all they can, in different ways, to remove this distinction, for until the distinction remains, they will have to take action first to reduce and create carbon space for the poorer countries to increase their emissions.

Equity and per capita entitlement has to be the basis for fair climate deal says UK Climate minister

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Durban, December 6: Speaking at the side of a press briefing organised by UNEP, Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change said that equity and per capita entitlement has to be ultimately the basis for a fair climate treaty.

Jayanthi Natarajan's statement in Durban on the issue of a new legally binding treaty

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"I have come to Durban with an open mind. But I would like to know whether it would be binding only for mitigation and whether it will be the same for Annex-1 and non-Annex1 countries.

The Verbal Battle of Durban

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Durban, December 6: The verbal battle of Durban was fought in a plenary at the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.

It was fought on December 5, 2011, 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

Here is a no-holds barred version of the battle.

We apologise for this rather lengthy posting.

It was, after all, a verbal battle.

If you only want to know how India weighed in, rhetorical mace and all, scroll to the last bit.

Thanks for your patience. Here goes:

Press conference by Chinese delegation

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Durban, December 5: 
Q from The Independent: Any circumstances in which China will go for a legally binding global deal to cut emissions?

So far, multilateral talks have been going on for 20 years. Many countries have spent great efforts. The UNFCCC and KP are legally binding documents, all parties are working hard to implement consensus in the Copenhagen Accord. We need a review of all these efforts. We need to base future decisions on current actions and what has been achieved so far. We will consider 2020 only after that.

“We don’t want an acclamation text”: developing countries are now angry

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Durban, December 5: At the AWG-LCA plenary meeting held today, the divide between developed and developing countries turned to a chasm. The purpose of the meeting, called by the Chair of the AWG-LCA, was to solicit the reactions of countries to the 130-page amalgamated text circulated on Saturday. The amalgamated text now forms the basis of negotiations in this negotiating track.

Words are becoming phrases: Can climate change discourse be ever untangled?

We are midway through the Durban conference and the search for a ‘transparent’, ‘comprehensive’, ‘balanced’, ‘credible’, ‘flexible’,  ‘accommodating’, ‘fair’,  ‘ambitious’ and ‘binding’ outcome is on. 

New proposal by LDCs

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Durban, December 2: As the UN climate change talks enter the 5th day in Durban, tempo in the negotiation rooms is gradually picking up.  While about 50 odd items are being discussed and the chairs of the different groups are trying to piece in the negotiating texts by Saturday, before the high level ministerial segment begins, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have proposed a middle-of-the-road solution to keep the climate change talks active. A draft proposal the LDCs submitted advocates a set of parallel treaties that will not only take into account emissions reduction targets for the Annex 1 parties but also for non-Kyoto parties like the United States and emerging economies like China and India.

Count the natural debt, too

Now that Europe’s debt crisis is unfolding all around us, shouldn’t we question why the world is determined to live beyond its means and not worry how it sabotages our common future? The debt crisis is a mere symptom of a deeper malaise. The fact is that countries, private companies and individual households can run only if they can borrow against their assets and hope that the debt will grow slower than the value of their asset. Most financial analysts will now tell you that this business is doomed because of the Ponzi scheme nature of the loan business, where borrowing is used to speculate to get more loans and so repayment becomes difficult and over time impossible.

Red flag to green fund

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Durban, December 1: Arguments and stalemates are a passé at UN climate change conferences. UN’s 17th Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP17), being hosted at Durban, South Africa saw its first impasse after three days of the negotiations, when a group of countries from disparate economic standing stopped the adoption of a report that could help set up the $100 billion a year fund to combat the effects of global warming in developing countries.

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