A COP17 Explainer
With all the coverage of the current UN climate talks in Durban, it’s not always easy to tell exactly what’s going on. There are tons of issues on the table, and for those of us on the outside, it can be a bit confusing to figure out what’s being discussed and what needs to get done.
Ecosystem Marketplace has a great explainer on the nuts and bolts of COP17.
The Kyoto Protocol is the biggest issue up for discussion, and it’s a contentious one. Most developed countries signed on to the agreement, meaning they committed to slashing greenhouse gases. But developing countries didn’t, and that’s split the two sides down the middle. The first part of the Kyoto Protocol runs out next year, and developed countries won’t hit the emissions target they originally agreed to.
But it also gets more specific, like REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). That’s a way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Luckily, deforestation is an issue both developing AND developed countries can agree on, and they’re hammering out more details in Durban right now.
Once you’re armed with all that information, it’s a little bit easier to understand what is and more importantly isn’t happening at COP17.
DateDecember 1, 2011