By Ani Terton
Sunday 5:29am: finally an outcome:
The Kyoto Protocol has survived in large part because of the positive momentum created by an alliance of the European Union, small island states and the least developed countries. However, countries were not able to agree of the length of the second commitment period – 5 or 8 years. Decision postponed until COP18. Countries have also agreed on the Green Climate Fund, but critical work still must be done to ensure it is not an empty shell. The Green Climate Fund is happening, but as an empty shell while fast-start funding runs out in 2013.
The Canadian government has been the poster child of inaction at these talks, and although they no longer have the global credibility to have a meaningful impact here, they have be constantly singled out as a laggard and even a pariah in these negotiations.
Instead of waiting for country leaders and environment ministers to finalize some grand bargain, we have to keep working on the ground. Progress is going to come from the bottom up, but not the top down.
The Durban outcome will NOT keep global warming below 2°C – we are on the pathway to 4°C. That’s just reality.
Now more than ever we must create a coalition of the willing in Canada between people, cities and provinces that understand the urgent need for action.
This is the last of Ani Terton’s posts from South Africa. We at Green Acton Centre look forward to her safe return, upon which she will be providing further analysis and interpretation of this month’s events in Durban.