COP’s winners and losers

2011-12-17 09:46

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (COP17 president):
The COP17 president was on the knife-edge of a spectacular fail, until her suggestion of a huddle between warring parties at the talks saved the day. Her indabas between parties’ ministers were inspirational, despite wasting valuable time. But because the conference delivered a significant outcome, she’ll forever be the darling of Durban.

Connie Hedegaard (European Union climate commissioner):
Nicknamed Connie The Barbarian for the aggressive and tireless siege she launched on other parties to get her roadmap approved, Hedegaard was a terrier, and with the failure of the Copenhagen talks on her back, she was desperate for success this time. And she got it.

Jayanthi Natarajan (Indian environment minister):
India’s iron lady unnerved veterans at the talks. Her fight to get rich countries to accept their emission cut responsibilities became the stuff of legends and she went home to India a heroine in her citizens’ eyes. Her smackdown with Canada on the last day was the talk of the town.

United States:
They had nothing to offer except their pledges at the Copenhagen talks two years ago. But the US walked away without having to worry about anything binding until 2020.

Peter Kent (Canadian environment minister):
He spent much of the talks trying to avoid talking about why Canada hated the Kyoto Protocol and trying to justify what Canada was doing to fight climate change. Kent ended up looking like an idiot, his country became the pariah of COP17 and when he arrived back home he dropped the protocol like a hot potato

Aosis (The alliance of small island states):
Time is running out for the small islands, who face the danger of disappearing under the ocean due to sea-level rises. The Durban Platform is not strong enough to ensure their survival, making them the biggest losers of COP17 .

The Russians just ended up looking dazed and confused on the final night of COP17. They are not signing on to a second round of Kyoto, while the issue of Russia’s “hot air”, or abundance of carbon credits, did not see them having to lift a finger to fight climate change. And still they complain and play hardball.

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