News / Middle East

UN Climate Conference Extends Kyoto Protocol

UN Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, second left, speaks during a press conference alongside Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and president of the 18th United Nations Convention on Climate Change, Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, second and on screens in Doha, Qatar, Dec. 3, 2012.
UN Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, second left, speaks during a press conference alongside Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and president of the 18th United Nations Convention on Climate Change, Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, second and on screens in Doha, Qatar, Dec. 3, 2012.
VOA News
Nearly 200 countries that took part in United Nations climate talks in Doha have agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol through 2020. The 1997 agreement, which requires industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, had been set to expire on December 31.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed the outcome of the conference.  But Ban's spokesperson says the secretary-general believes "far more needs to be done."  A U.N. statement said Ban calls on governments, businesses, civil society and citizens to accelerate action on the ground in order to limit the rise in global temperature to the international target of 2 degrees Celsius.

Jennifer Morgan, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Washington-based research center World Resources Institute, agreed that nations must do more.  She said the agreement reached Saturday is "far from what is needed" to tackle the problem.

"There was really no additional ambition that came in to the conference," said Morgan.  "There were a few important announcements by the Dominican Republic and Lebanon of their plans to reduce emissions, but none of the big countries did."

Negotiations will now move forward on a new legally-binding agreement that applies to all countries. The aim is to adopt the treaty by 2015. It would take effect in 2020 as a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol.

Although the progress made in Doha was less than hoped, Morgan says the 12-day conference "turned a new page" in the climate talks, streamlining the discussions from several tracks of negotiations into one. She said it sets the stage for more ambitious commitments in the future.

"Although these negotiations are very disappointing in a way, I think it's important to point to where the change needs to occur, and I can say that if certain large countries [or regions], whether that be the U.S. or Europe or China or Japan, [if they] were to change their stance towards these negotiations, they would happen a lot faster, and I'm pretty sure there would be much more ambition," she said.

The conference was due to end Friday, but it was extended into Saturday because delegates remained divided over how to stop climate change and how to pay for it.

Developing countries were pushing to extend the Kyoto Protocol. They also called for firm commitments from developed nations to boost aid for them to $100 billion annually by 2020 - a general pledge that was made three years ago.  But rich nations, including the United States, have not been willing to commit to specific funding targets.

The United States has never ratified the Kyoto agreement. Other countries opting out of the extension include Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Russia. The abstentions mean the second phase of the protocol will only cover developed nations that are responsible for 15 percent or less of global emissions.

A spate of scientific reports released during the two-week meeting provided compelling new evidence that the Earth's climate is warming.  They also predicted dire consequences - from rising sea levels to more severe droughts, floods and storms - unless action is taken to reduce climate-changing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 10, 2012 8:30 AM
The deception/robbery is underway. What can they do about ever increasing CME's coming off the sun that have direct result in earth quakes/volcanic eruptions? Besides scientists don't even agree, some say earth is warming while others say it's cooling. Think God has anything to do in this equation?

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Japan
December 08, 2012 6:32 PM
Both rich countries and poor countries are not interested in global climate change. They are just interested in how much money they would lose or could get related on this issue.
That's why there is no outcome from the discussion of climate conferece.
Former Japanese Prime Minister "Mr. Hatoyama" declared that Japan will reduce CO2 25% but there is no meanfull progress and there is no reports about the results of their efforts. He was just meaningless politician.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More