Durban, COP 17

November 28, the conference for climate, COP 17, opens in Durban until December 9, 2011. Africa, a victim of global warming even if not responsible, hosts the conference.


2012 marks the end of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to fight against climate change. New obligations should be negotiated at the international level to extend the influence of Kyoto.


But there will be no post-Kyoto 2015. The European Union plays a crucial role for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol between 2012 and 2015. Because if there is no commitment to limit temperature increases to 2 ° C, these could increase by 4 ° C with disastrous consequences for people, environment and economy.

Requirements vis-à-vis the United States and China which didn’t committed under Kyoto are not the same as the economic level and the historical emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) per capita are different. The United States are industrialized and emit a big amount of GHG. While China is an emerging country (ie recent economic growth) that, even if it emits a  bigger total amount of greenhouse gases than the United States, the per capita greenhouse gas emissions by Chinese is lower than those of the inhabitant in United States and even of European.


Developing countries request funding to help them adapt to climate change, otherwise they will not sign agreement. They reject the World Bank to be the manager of that Green Fund for adaptation because of its lack of transparency and the control of Western countries.


Faster than the EU, China has seized the opportunity of the green economy. It has already invested heavily but the danger is that word is a source of income through exports.


The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released November 18, 2011 a special report whose summary for policy makers should put pressure. Indeed, the findings are serious. Science confirms that extreme weather events have increased and that it is now urgent to manage climate change while it is still economically and socially feasible to cope and reduce the temperature increase by reducing greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gases (GHGs).


The risk of droughts increases in southern Africa and other parts of the world, including Europe. An analysis of extreme natural events that have occurred in recent years shows that 95% of victims live in developing countries. Despite previous warnings, GHG emissions are still accelerating. 2010 has a new record of growth of global emissions.


This report, written by 220 scientists from 62 countries, presnets the magnitude of climate changes present and future. It sheds light on its potential consequences challenging future.


"If we do not act to curb global warming, our earth will become uninhabitable. All natural systems are affected: endangered species, declining agricultural yields, flood of the Nile Delta in an area where there are ten million people ... "said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-president of the IPCC, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and has long sounded the alarm.


The report Bridging the Gap Emissions published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, the voice of the environment within the United Nations) stressed the need to improve energy efficiency and to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy . This study reviewed 13 scenarios to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to achieve the 2 degrees by 2020. However, this raises questions about the socio-economic impacts generated in the agricultural and forestry areas by the massive use of biomass as a renewable energy source. (To read the report "Bridging the gap in emission reductions to meet the target of 2 ° C" )


In Durban, governments must:

1. decide the immediate future of the Kyoto Protocol,

2. define, in the longer term, the way to a binding global agreement on climate,

3. launch the institutional network agreed to help developing countries cope with climate change,

4. define a way to ensure long-term funding of this.


More info:


Website of the Durban Conference:Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011


A coalition of religious communities in Africa and the world has a secretariat and a website:


"Addressing Poverty, Wealth and Ecology", a consultation in Europe Organised by the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in cooperation with churches in Hungary ended on Friday 12 November by Adopting a final statement, Budapest Call for Climate Justice. [More )




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