COP 17 gets under way in Durban

2011-11-28 07:20

Durban - The United Nations climate talks are set to start in Durban on Monday.

Delegates started arriving into South Africa last week for what is formally known as the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change.

There were 11 810 delegates approved to come to South Africa for the conference, the department of home affairs said.

The delegates expected to include several heads of state and government, ministers, UN officials, members of civil society and journalists.

The summit is scheduled to run until December 9.

'Alarm bells' for urgent action

On Sunday, during a curtain-raiser media briefing in Durban, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said new research and findings were “sounding alarm bells” for urgent action to halt global warming.

The UN's top official on climate change said there were two very important backdrops to the next fortnight's negotiations.

"The first has to do with a growing momentum for action… and the other is the new research and the findings that are sounding alarm bells for urgent action."

Figueres said recent findings all warned of rising danger levels.

These included reports by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

She said governments had come to COP 17 "fully aware" of the importance of this treaty and the expiry of its current commitment period at the end of next year.

Second commitment period

Many observers believe COP 17 is unlikely to agree on a second commitment period, and say that in this regard laying a foundation for it to happen is the likely outcome. Some say this could take up to 2020.

Scientists warn that any delay would make restricting warming to an average global increase of two degrees Celsius, or less, extremely difficult if not impossible. Anything higher than two degrees is likely to cause extreme changes to the world's weather patterns.

A recent assessment by UNEP, titled “Bridging the Emissions Gap”, warns that pledges by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fall way short of what was required.

- Are you there? Share your experiences and photos.

  • Dirk - 2011-11-28 07:48

    Talk- talk, spend more money, criticize the West, China and India laughs. (Along with Durbans prostitutes) Eat caviar, Drink Blue Label and French champagne at the expense of the poor. A very expensive exercise achieving absolutely nothing.

      Jos - 2011-11-28 07:57

      And what do you suggest the world do regarding climate change?

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2011-11-28 08:05

      Agree. Nothing will be achieved. And the sad thing is, when they eventually wake up, Durban will be under water.

      Paul - 2011-11-28 08:10

      Considering the fact that the USA and UK have stated they are not agreeing on any carbon reduction agreement it is a waste of time when the two biggest polluters refuse to cooperate because of shareholders returns.

      Robin - 2011-11-28 08:40

      @Stefan, Massive sea level rise is just another AGW myth. The average sea level increase has been less than 2mm a year since way, way back and, in fact, sea levels in the Northern Hemisphere have actually dropped. Read Nils-Axel MÖRNER's paper titled "Sea Level Changes and Tsunamis,Environmental Stress and Migration Overseas.The Case of the Maldives and Sri Lanka" in Internationales Asienforum, Vol. 38 (2007), No. 3–4, pp. 353–374

      Eric - 2011-11-28 11:18

      @Robin - please don't come here and muddy the waters with information and facts! Here we have people in the grip of apocalyptic conspiracy theory whipped up into a frenzy and you want to spoil their party! However it is true that even extremely low lying atolls stubbonly persist in sticking out of the ocean. And I hear that the Artic ice is the thinnest it has been since 1970 - so, despite all those years of increased CO2 production it was actually thinner 41 years ago.

  • Eric - 2011-11-28 08:14

    So let see. lets close down all the coal mines around the world and put up wind turbines, solar etc. The rich will go crazy and they will ensure that the politicians around the world that is propped up by their money does not vote in favour of this.What about running cars on other fuels that oil from the ground/sea. Madness the rich will suffer. So let us see what they will vote in favour of. maybe no more wood fires in Africa and supply gas free of charge to the poor. This will save trees.

      Amanda - 2011-11-28 10:51

      Let me guess - you hate the rich? I see the green eye of envy pouring out of every word. Maybe get off your bum and go work and you too could be rich.

  • Robin - 2011-11-28 08:34

    Nearly 12 000 "delegates expected to include several heads of state and government, ministers, UN officials, members of civil society and journalists". Notice there is not one mention of REAL climate scientists - or any scientists for that matter!! This is just a bunch of big mouths and their rent-a-crowd lackeys on a summer holiday. All their hot air will certainly contribute to climate change but it surely won't stop or divert it!

  • Mike - 2011-11-28 08:36

    Another way to waste money - as long as China and the USA are not coming to the party this entire talk talk talk is just another way to "celebrate" themselves. Imagine the carbon foot print for 11.000 delegates all flying into South Africa; private jet and all! We should not even be the host of this conference being great polluters ourselves - or where are our wind farms and solar power stations? And Durban - where are your Blue Flag Beaches - gone; because we pump sewerage right into the sea, or should I say Welcome to DirtBin - as the city is nice and filthy for the 11.000 delegates in town.

  • Paul - 2011-11-28 08:38

    It is ironic how the superior white race has taken credit for developing the scientific futuristic world but cannot accept responsibility for destroying it. One thing they must learn is nature is superior to their small minded interlect.

      msendi - 2011-11-28 09:07

      Are Chinese white as well??? Why don't you just say humankind instead of "superior white race"???

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-28 09:10

      Paul, I can live your first sentence, being white, but what you need to recognize is the fact that the biggest polluters are not only "white" anymore. We, the consumers are buying there stuff and we all need to start taking responsibility. India and China, with America, always have an issue. Keeping scoreboard and through that playing for more time. I will let the white remark slip, because it is NOW irrelevant as long as you do not play that stupid card to say that it is now "our" turn and eventually nothing is left. This has now more to do with doing the right thing, even nothing that the money-powers gets involve because they can make a buck. A lot of people are crying that we waist money, but I agree with Jos, what do they than suggest? People said that this whole global warming is nonsense, but we must admit that we take from the earth at a hell of a speed and that must have an effect on the ecosystem. We, you me and the money-powers let greed control us. That is this world's problem.

      Mike - 2011-11-28 09:10

      Please forgive me - but what has the superior white race got to do with Cop 17? Having a bad Monday - or are you just a small minded communist racist?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-28 09:11

      "even knowing...." Sorry!

      Amanda - 2011-11-28 10:53

      Indians and Chinese are now white? Who would've thought??

  • Thukza - 2011-11-28 09:44

    And worst of all , thay are parking SUVs outside tltltl.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-28 10:07

      Good one!!!!!!!

  • Eric - 2011-11-28 10:06

    If you are really convinced of global warming caused by CO2 build nuclear power stations. Otherwise, shut the F up!

      Liz - 2011-11-28 11:51

      what about wind turbines and wave power we have a vast coast line don't forget desalination plants then we will never be without water.

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