News / Africa

EU Claims Progress on Climate 'Roadmap' at Durban

Chimneys from the Engen oil company are seen on the outskirts of the city of Durban, South Africa, the site of the COP17 climate talks, November 30, 2011.
Chimneys from the Engen oil company are seen on the outskirts of the city of Durban, South Africa, the site of the COP17 climate talks, November 30, 2011.

As the first week of negotiations at the U.N. climate change conference  in South Africa comes to a close, the European Union says support is growing for a new legally-binding agreement to cut emissions.  But the United States and other countries remain strongly opposed to the idea.

EU negotiators are urging other parties at the COP17 climate talks in Durban to agree to a “roadmap” that would lead to a climate treaty that would legally bind governments to cut emissions blamed for climate change.

The Polish head of the EU delegation, Tomasz Chruszczow, said there is growing support for such a measure.

“Many parties see that the goal of keeping the global warming within the limits, within two degrees, requires urgent action," said Chruszczow." And extreme weather events on the ground and that warning contained in the recent spate of reports from international institutions and organizations made it very hard to escape this kind of conclusion.”

The EU proposal would follow the current legal framework established under the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year. The EU wants  the parties at COP17 to agree to establish a new treaty by 2015 that would go into effect by 2020.

Recent reports support the EU's argument that further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, are necessary to keep global temperatures from increasing to dangerous levels.

The International Energy Agency has warned that the world has about five years left to significantly cut carbon emissions in order to prevent irreversible climate change.

The European Union is trying to convince developing countries to sign on to such an agreement.

EU negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger noted the EU's success with the current program, saying the EU's emissions have dropped below 1990 levels while overall, the continent's economy has continued to grow.

“Because a lot of fear that is in this process is about 'I can either fight climate change or I can grow my economy,' but we can show, and that's a big example here, that we can do both at the same time," he said.

The United States did not adopt the Kyoto Protocol, and U.S. climate negotiators have said they will not support a legal mandate to cut emissions without knowing the details of such an agreement.

Commenting on the EU's proposed roadmap, U.S. deputy climate change envoy Jonathan Pershing said it would have to bind all parties equally.

“We're not looking for a mechanism in which we would have an obligation to reduce emissions of a legal form and the major emerging economies would have a voluntary program," said Pershing. "That's kind of the Kyoto structure.  We are not a party to Kyoto, in no small measure, because of that constraint.”

The United States has argued that the voluntary emissions reductions that governments agreed to at the last climate conference in Cancun, Mexico are unlikely to change over the coming years.

The U.S. has been trying to start discussions, instead, on what can be done after 2020.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid