Outcome of the Durban climate talks

This year’s UN climate talks held in Durban ended (eventually) with the ‘Durban Platform’ – an agreement amongst all countries to agree a plan on global emissions reductions by 2015 at the latest, with legally binding targets for all countries to kick in by 2020. Timing, ambition and equity were key concerns during COP 17 and looking at the outcome through these lenses, the final commitments are weak and leave too much room for interpretation. The outcome could result in average global temperature rises of 3-4 degrees C – at least double the ceiling of 1.5 degrees C that many believe to be the maximum to avoid catastrophic change.

Despite hopes that adaptation would feature more strongly at this ‘African COP’, there was again an insufficient sense of urgency. On Finance, the Green Climate Fund was operationalised which was good progress. But this fund can not support developing countries with adaptation and mitigation if it remains empty. Countries failed to move ahead with measures to raise long term finance from new sources such as international shipping and there was agreement only on a work plan ‘to progress’ work on finance by the next talks in December 2012 – a small step when agreement is needed urgently to avoid a gap in climate funds for developing countries once the fast start finance period runs out at the end of next year.

For more detail please do have a read of the Tearfund policy briefing 

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