UN Climate deal: Back to the future or stuck in neutral?
It seems to be the same old story when it comes to the prospects of a binding emissions deal happening in Cancun next November, or any time soon for that matter. India’s environment minister doesn’t think it will happen and China is not expected to impose limits their CO2 emissions.
So far, non-legally binding commitments offer less than what is needed for the ‘crucial’ 2 degrees Celsius limit deemed necessary by scientists to avoid runaway climate change.
From an AFP report:
The Copenhagen accord called for nations to work together to stave off warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels. But voluntary pledges registered under the deal put the Earth on track for increases of 3.5 to 4.0 degrees Celsius (6.3 to 7.2 Fahrenheit).
The US’s main climate negotiator Todd Stern wants a deal that includes limits on all countries except the world’s poorest.
Stern is quoted in the New York Times Dot Earth blog:
We have made our support for a legal agreement clear for more than a year, as long as the agreement is legally symmetrical, with the same elements binding on all countries, except the least developed. Such an agreement should be our goal.
But it doesn’t look very promising, does it?
by Graham Land