Durban UN climate meeting should catalyze nations to commit to reducing emissions

November 27, 2011
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NEWS RELEASE

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Jennifer Andreassen, S.A. mobile 072 632 2755, U.S. mobile +1-202-288-4867, jandreassen@edf.org

(DURBAN, South Africa – Nov. 27, 2011) The United Nations climate talks beginning in Durban Monday should be used to catalyze individual nations to commit to emissions reductions and to launch the fund for helping developing countries deal with climate change, Environmental Defense Fund, a leading U.S. environmental group, said today.

Although the ideal outcome of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathering is for countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol climate change agreement – significant parts of which will expire next year – and to set the course for a comprehensive binding agreement in the near future, those goals do not appear to be achievable.

“Given the current global political and economic situations, renewal of the Kyoto Protocol is highly unlikely,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, EDF's international climate program director. “But that is no excuse for the world to sit back and do nothing. We need to build on the efforts of individual countries and regions so that every nation does their part to reduce the emissions that are harming our way of life.” 

Environmental Defense Fund is urging the climate conference to move forward in four key areas:

  1. A negotiating work plan with concrete goals for the next two years and a clear path toward a comprehensive, binding agreement.
  2. Agreements on financing arrangements for the Green Climate Fund, which will be dedicated to helping developing countries address and adapt to climate change. 
  3. Positive signals to the carbon market that there’s life after Durban, encouraging more countries to follow Europe, New Zealand, and most recently Australia’s lead in setting a domestic carbon price.
  4. Accounting rules for measuring emissions from land-use change and forestry that accurately determine whether countries have reduced their emissions and met their obligations.  

Read EDF’s full report on recommendations and expectations for the Durban climate conference: Durban UN climate talks could see modest, incremental progress; What to watch at COP-17.