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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora