Deal in Durban - Day 8

John Streicker

I and a couple thousand others just pulled an all-nighter here in Durban. We have a deal.

The deal is that we now have a follow up to the Kyoto Protocol. There are some things that are good about it... It starts right away - at the beginning of 2013 when the first phase of Kyoto is done. It runs for 5 years or maybe 7 years - that did not get worked out yet.

There was a lot of negotiation about whether or not it would be legally binding. Everyone understood that legally binding is important, but the risk, especially for the developing countries is that legally binding might impose too much of the burden on the poorer countries which have contributed much less to emissions.

The compromise language means that we won’t have certainty. What we do have certainty is that Canada and the US are not contributing to the solution. It was really the EU which led the charge and made new commitments. India, China, South Africa and Brazil contributed more to the negotiations than Canada did.

In the 8 hours of the pajama-party Durban negotiations, Canada did not speak once.

Outside of Canada and the US, the rest of the world sees a real urgency in shifting the energy economy. EU led the charge here in Durban. India and China came on board. Canada and the US did not. So here is my overall wrap:

Durban was a lot of work and in the end took a significant step forward on climate change although it left many things unanswered. Canada took some deserved heat from youth, India and Colossal Fossil. Pulling out of Kyoto was/is a specter for Canada and is a step in the wrong direction.

Thanks Durban, good luck world, get with it Canada.

Yours, a north by northwest scientist / politician reporting from the south by southeast

John Streicker

ps Durban has been lovely, but these annual gigantic chaotic meetings just do not seem sustainable.