On December 7th, the long awaited UN Climate Conference came to an end. For two weeks, negotiators from 200 countries met in Doha, Qatar to debate on how to slow global warming and on concrete measures to protect vulnerable countries from the impacts of climate change.
The package of decisions included an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, weak affirmations of adopting a new global climate pact that would affect all countries by 2015 and vague promises to help poor countries face the challenges of climate change.
Summary of the results:
- Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2020 to fill a momentary gap until a global treaty is agreed upon. The second phase of the Kyoto Protocol is a weaker one covering only 15% of global emissions after Canada, New Zealand, Russia and Japan decided no longer to support it.
- Global Treaty
The decisions in Doha signaled that in the future, the talks will focus on a new global treaty that would apply to both developed and developing countries. The new treaty is expected to be agreed upon in the upcoming conferences, adopted in 2015 and take effect five years later.
- Global Warming Fund
Global warming could include flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species. The issue is even more important after a recent statement by the World Bank projecting temperatures to rise by up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100.
With this in mind, poor countries especially those composed of various islands demanded for rich countries to increase their climate change aid to $100 billion annually by 2020. Rich nations, however, crippled by an ongoing financial crisis and ongoing austerity measures did not talk in much detail on measures to aid poor countries.
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