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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora