Brussels (AFP) April 27, 2011
There will be no binding deal on emissions at this year's UN climate summit as the South African hosts and other economic powers are simply "not ready," the United States and Europe said on Wednesday.
"It is not a necessary thing to have right away," top US climate official Todd Stern said after European Union counterpart Connie Hedegaard admitted hopes of a breakthrough pact in Durban are already dead.
"The good news is that there is a general recognition of the necessity of a legally-binding agreement," EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.
"The bad news is no legally-binding agreement deal will be done in Durban."
The pair spoke after a two-day meeting of the so-called Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), a gathering of the world's 17 largest economies aimed at advancing efforts to cut greenhouse emissions, increase the supply of clean energy and mitigate global warming.
Stern said discussion focused on whether the UN summit would even articulate the goal of a legally-binding agreement "in the coming years."
"In a nutshell, our view is it would have to include all the major players -- China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa," he said, underlining that powerful states such as these are "not ready to have international, legally-binding obligations."
"I'm not even criticising that," he added, noting that China's rise, both as a major economic power and emitter, has also seen Beijing become one of the world's top developers of clean energy.
With US ratification also "a big hill to climb," a reminder that Washington did not pass the existing UN Kyoto Protocol, Stern argued that much can still be achieved even when agreements are not legally-binding.
He cited commercial international relations from post-World War II through to the 1995 formation of the World Trade Organization, insisting the WTO's predecessor "GATT wasn't legally-binding."
The key issue for participants ahead of Durban is how to bring timid agreements reached in Cancun, Mexico last December "to life," Stern said, especially getting a 'green fund' for investing in renewable energies "from paper to money flowing."
The UN climate process almost collapsed in a more ambitious effort 12 months earlier in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Stern stressed that it was too early to tell if a retreat from nuclear energy following the post-quake accident in Japan would make states less likely to commit to ambitious emissions-reduction demands.
He hinted, though, that shipping and aviation, major sectoral polluters along with farming on a global scale, were likely to be given more time to negotiate their own deals.
The International Maritime Organisation and the International Civil Aviation Organisation "are the right venues" for tackling the reliance on so-called bunker fuels, he said, although nations would seek to integrate these industries in the "relatively near term."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
Democrats and Republicans increasingly divided over global warming
East Lansing MI (SPX) Apr 27, 2011
Despite the growing scientific consensus that global warming is real, Americans have become increasingly polarized on the environmental issue, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by a Michigan State University researcher. The gap between Democrats and Republicans who believe global warming is happening increased 30 percent between 2001 and 2010 - a "depressing" trend that's essentia ... read more
Japanese government submits $49bn extra budget|
Asbestos, dioxin threats in Japan tsunami rubble
Japanese retail sales slump after disaster
In tsunami-hit Japan, a mother finally finds closure
Chernobyl's radioactivity reduced the populations of birds of orange plumage
New polymer structures for use as plastic electronics
NIST nanomagnets offer food for thought about computer memories
Hundreds queue as iPad 2 hits Japan
Suez Environnement reports strong start to year
Conservation of coastal dunes is threatened by poorly designed infrastructure
Eddies found to be powerful modes of ocean transport
VIMS study shows propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
Calling all candidates for Concordia
Melting ice on Arctic islands a major player in sea level rise
ESA-NASA Collaboration Furthers Sea-Ice Research
Melting ice on Arctic islands boosts sea levels: study
China food scandals spark new safety fears
Stressed out crop impede higher agriculture yields
Lima to declare itself a GMO-free zone
Scorpion venom bad for bugs but good for pesticides
Ecuador on alert after volcano erupts
Forecasters predict multiple US hurricane landfalls
Rain is Colombia's 'worst' natural disaster: Santos
'Right' to shut down air space over Iceland volcano: study
Darfur rebels reject draft Doha accord
Nigeria holds final polls despite violence
Burkina Faso president assumes defence post
Work on Sudan split continues
Chinese population ageing, moving to the cities
Evolution of human 'super-brain' tied to development of bipedalism, tool-making
Berlusconi, Sarkozy meet over migrants
Pope urges 'solidarity' with refugees from conflict
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|