COP17 final outcome
The early hours of Sunday 11 December finally saw 194 countries, including the US and China, agree to an “outcome with legal force” to reduce carbon emissions by 2015, to take effect in 2020.
Here, a summary of the results by BusinessLive:
- A plan to capitalise the Green Climate Fund, which will provide US$100 billion a year for green projects in developing countries, starting in 2020. Some details must be worked out at COP18 in Qatar next year, but US$30 billion in “fast track” funding should arrive by 2013.
- An agreement for the transfer of green technology knowledge to developing countries.
- A second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. Russia, Japan and Canada are notably absent, but the EU, New Zealand and Australia are still in. The EU threatened not to recommit unless its “road map” for all nations, including top-polluter China, to adopt a legally binding agreement by 2020 was passed.
- While the road map didn’t go through, something close to it did. In the end, the words “legally binding” have been swapped out for “agreed outcome with legal force for all.”
An article in the DailyNews made a valid point: “A climate accord demands sacrifice from countries. It asks them to put common interest above national interest, a concept alien to governments which promise economic stability and prosperity to their electorates, not people across the world.
COP17 showed again that carbon emissions remain the backbone of wealth to many countries. Hence the painfully slow progress.”
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Image courtesy AFP photo.