Monday, 12 December 2011

What actually happened at COP17?

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The United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in the largest city in South Africa, Durban. 

Bringing together representatives of the world's governments, international organisations and civil society to build upon previous agreements and to begin building the frameworks and funds neccessary to combat climate change.

Held in the continent which is already feeling the effects of climate change, the agreements reached have been dubbed the 'Durban Platform'

Some small steps were achieved here, for example the increased commitment for a legally binding agreement to curb the emmition of greenhouse gases was agreed by developing countries, including China. 

However, it is now estimated that the terms will be agreed by 2015 and come into effect by 2020 - and for many these dates have shown a lack of urgency. 

Moreover, very little was mentioned in terms of the scale of cuts needed. This has led environmental groups to critise the talks as not achieving enough.  Oxfam refered to it as a 'major dissapointment'; WWF has said it is 'too little, too slow' and Freinds of the Earth 'an empty shell of a plan'.

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