Last thoughts on the Durban package

Elizabeth May

Alright, probably not
last thoughts.  Analysis and review will continue for months if
not years.

By some lights it was a breakthrough to have China
and India and Brazil talking about targets -- even though they have
only agreed to start getting there.  It is an enormous relief to
have a second commitment period under Kyoto, starting immediately at
the end of the first. But Canada is, of course, refusing to take
part, plus Japan and Russia.  The USA remains perpetually
hobbled by domestic politics and somehow year after year and COP
after COP, the US ducks its responsibilities.

Canada's role,
Fossil of the Year for the 5th consecutive year is no surprise.
Canada's interventions and actions have the effect of weakening texts
and hardening positions. As I head home I am so worried about the
reports that the Prime Minister wants to legally withdraw from the
Kyoto Protocol. For all the damage we have done thus far, such an
action would hurt the new agreements from Durban before the ink is
dry.  We need to stay on top of this threat, reportedly to be
executed on December 23.

The frustrating, maddening, even
terrifying aspect of climate talks is that GHG levels keep rising
while multilateral negotiations try to determine the time table by
which they will be reduced. - eventually. It reminds me of the
unacceptable negotiations with forest companies. We used to call it
"talk and log." The climate equivalent, climate negotiators
talk while profligate use of fossil fuels ramps up year on year.

need the equivalent of a cease fire.  No new GHG added, no new
tar sands projects approved.  We cannot afford to keep adding an
ever increasing volume of warming gases into the atmosphere, while
negotiating when we plan to begin to slow it down.

And that is
why we have to find a way to pick up the pace. We are risking putting
the atmosphere on an irreversible trajectory to runaway global
warming. We need to stop the rise in GHG -- everywhere on Earth by
2015.  On current levels of political will, we are not yet close
to the actions we need. Still, thank goodness Durban gave us
something in the right direction. Now we need to get back to public
mobilizations to improve the agreements and really reduce GHG.