Transition Marlborough general blog

UN 2011 Climate Change talks start in Durban on 28th November

Published by Sam Page on 25 November 2011

These COP17 talks are critical, since the current legally binding Kyoto Protocol which limits greenhouse gas emissions, expires next year.  Unfortunately the world's major emitters seem to be further apart than ever, with some commentators saying that a new agreement will be put off until 2016 and new targets won't come into effect until 2020! Greenpeace and Christian Aid are urging the developed countries to reach agreement without delay, while Chris Huhne, the Environment and Climate Change Minister, says the UK Government aims to reach agreement on the need for a new treaty.  This treaty should be concluded by 2015, he said.  Meanwhile, delegates from several of the most vulnerable island states have threatened to sit-in at the conference centre in Durban until new legally binding targets that will limit the mean global temperature rise to 2oC, are enforced. 

One of the most pressing issues is the creation of a multibillion dollar fund to fight the impacts of climate change in vulnerable states such as Bangladesh, Maldives, Costa Rica and Samoa.  Ban Ki-moon has called for $100 million dollars to be raised each year for this purpose.  The Green Party is urging rich countries to commit to this fund at the UN meeting in Durban. This large sum could easily be paid out of a 'Tobin' (Robin Hood) Tax - it has been calculated that a 0.1% tax on sterling transactions alone would raise £34 billion per annum, which is more than 50% of the amount need.

You may want to write to your MP about this...