Durban climate talks fail to deliver

Scientists and environmental groups have warned the delay to 2020 puts the planet, and people at great risk of irreversible damage from rising temperatures.


Protesters block the halls at the Durban International Conference Centre

Ottawa (13 Dec 2011) - Environmental groups, scientists, trade unionists, social justice groups and developing nations suffering climate impacts today, expressed disappointment as climate negotiators wrapped up in Durban. Talks ended without any guarantees that countries will make the cuts to emissions as demanded by science to stop a climate disaster.

Hannah McKinnon, campaign director of Climate Action Network Canada concluded, “The most important thing to understand out of Durban is that countries have not yet succeeded in moving the world away from a dangerous trajectory towards well above two degrees of global warming. These UN climate talks are only as strong as the political will that drives them – or drags them. In Durban countries have kept the political space alive, but without a serious ramping up of ambition and action from developed countries, the deal we need will remain elusive and the climate will continue to move from crises to catastrophe."

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) emphasized, "The Kyoto Protocol, a critical piece in the climate agreement, survived the talks but without key countries, without commitments on emission reductions and with major loopholes. A Green Climate fund was agreed, but without commitments to fill the fund. And a new negotiating round was launched aimed at being implemented in 2020."

The Climate Action Network points out that Kyoto Protocol has survived in large part because of the positive momentum created by an alliance of the European Union, small island states and the least developed countries. Countries have also agreed on the Green Climate Fund, but critical work still must be done to ensure it is not an empty shell.

The Canadian government has been the poster child of inaction at these talks, and although they no longer have the global credibility to have a meaningful impact here, they have been constantly singled out as a laggard and even a pariah in these negotiations.

More Information:

Canada wins the Colossal Fossil Award at Durban - read more

Pembina Reacts to conclusion of Durban conference - read more


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