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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs