Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

UN talks take first steps on 2015 climate deal
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) May 17, 2012

UN members on Thursday took their first steps in a marathon to negotiate a new global pact by 2015 that for the first time will place rich and poor under a common legal regime to tackle climate change.

Meeting in Bonn, the 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began wrangling over how to work towards the target enshrined at their landmark conference in Durban, South Africa, last December.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa, who presided over the maiden session, urged countries as they embarked on the long road to set aside "old and unhelpful negotiating practices," a reference to the bickering that typically dogs climate talks.

"Time is limited and we need to take very seriously the desperate calls of some of our brethren, especially the small island states," she said, referring to low-lying nations threatened by rising seas.

The inaugural session of the ad-hoc working group, webcast over the Internet, took place in UNFCCC talks at senior level running in the former German capital to May 25.

If all goes well, a new accord will be wrapped up in 2015 and take effect in 2020, placing rich and poor under the same legal roof for tackling greenhouse-gas emissions that drive climate change.

At present, legal constraints under the UN's climate banner are divided among developed and developing countries -- a format dating back to the 1990s that critics say is badly out of date.

Rich countries bear most of the historical responsibility for global warming today.

But they say it is unfair to shoulder the burden for fixing the problem in the future.

Their places in the league table of emitters are being taken by emerging giants such as China, India and Brazil, which are massively burning coal, oil and gas as they battle to rise out of poverty.

Small-island states and African countries on Thursday sounded a loud alarm over the "ambition gap" -- the difference between pledges for cutting emissions and what is needed to avoid dangerous warming.

Scientist say current emissions are stoking possible warming of four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit), twice the 2 C (3.6 F) goal set by UNFCCC parties in 2011 as a safe maximum.

"The inadequate mitigation pledges... risk temperature increases that will have catastrophic impacts worldwide, and particularly for Africa," said Seyni Nafo, spokesman for the African group.

Speaking for small island states, Marlene Moses of Nauru warned that the "ambitions gap" was now so wide that by 2015, the negotiations could be dealing with how to relocate people from countries that had become inhabitable.

So far, the 2015 canvas is blank, except for the requirement that it meets the UNFCCC principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities." This term distinguishes between the demands that should be placed on poorer and richer economies respectively.

Who will curb their emissions and by how much, the pact's compliance regime and even its legal status are among the many issues that will have to be agreed in a hugely complex, multi-track arena.

Developing countries are demanding a show of goodwill from rich economies.

They want the European Union and its allies to renew and deepen their vows under the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only treaty that specifies cuts in greenhouse gases.

In contrast, the United States, which refuses to ratify Kyoto, is leading the charge for emerging giants to beef up their emissions pledges and open their vows to scrutiny.

In a sign of the tussles ahead, the UNFCCC said the first meeting of the board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) -- an initiative designed to channel up to 100 billion dollars a year in aid to poorer countries -- had been postponed.

The May 31 meeting has been delayed "pending finalisation of the process for nominations" from countries seeking a place on the 24-seat panel, it said.

"The next window to meet will be the last week in June or first week in July, in Geneva," said Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC's executive secretary.

"There is great enthusiasm from countries to be represented on the Board. While I would have liked to see the Board get down to work immediately, a short postponement to reach full agreement on its membership means it can launch smoothly and push ahead with the tasks before it."

The GCF was launched at the ministerial-level meeting in Durban. Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland are bidding to host the fund.


Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Statistical Analysis Projects Future Temperatures In North America
Columbus OH (SPX) May 16, 2012
For the first time, researchers have been able to combine different climate models using spatial statistics - to project future seasonal temperature changes in regions across North America. They performed advanced statistical analysis on two different North American regional climate models and were able to estimate projections of temperature changes for the years 2041 to 2070, as well as the cer ... read more

Lebanese army deploys in Tripoli areas hit by fighting

German insurer Allianz says profits soar 60%

Economists list cheapest ways to save the world

2012 not end of world for Mayans after all

China grants more quotas for rare earth exports

Toshiba shares jump as it drops Japan TV operations

Record data transmission speed set

Samsung on top as mobile phone sales dip: survey

New Zealand warned on resource usage

Researchers map fish species at risk from dams

New research on seaweeds shows it takes more than being flexible to survive crashing waves

World Bank $275 mn loan to tackle Philippines sewage

Russia's Antarctic probes to be tested in Ladoga Lake

Climate scientists discover new weak point of the Antarctic ice sheet

Antarctic octopuses 10,000km apart "genetically similar"

Visiting Snowball Earth

Barley takes a leaf out of reindeer's book in the land of the midnight sun

Cambodian girl killed in land row: official

Wasted milk is a real drain on our resources

Tiny plants could cut costs, shrink environmental footprint

Sumatra said at risk from volcanoes

Georgia flood disaster exposes capital's slums

6.0-magnitude quake hits Papua New Guinea: USGS

First tropical storm of eastern Pacific season off Mexico

War-torn Somalia stages TEDx conference

Chinese firm not paying diamond proceeds to Zimbabwe: FM

Algeria's political battle: Army v. spooks

DRCongo forces bomb mutineers in famed African park

Evolution's gift may also be at the root of a form of autism

Anthropologist finds explanation for hominin brain evolution in famous fossil

Wall art from France said world's oldest

Extra gene drove instant leap in human brain evolution

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement