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First week of UN climate talk "constructive"

12-06-2011 08:08 BJT Special Report:Durban Climate Change Conference |

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UN Climate Change Head has described the first week of the Climate Change Conference in South Africa, as constructive and productive. This is despite strong criticism from civil society delegates, that not enough progress was made during the talks last week.

The second week of the Climate Change Talks in Durban kicked off with a protest by environmental lobby group Greenpeace.

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, center, with Christiana Figureres, head of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the opening session of
a global climate conference in Durban, South Africa.

Seven activists were arrested during this action at a local hotel, where they called on Cop 17 negotiators to listen to the people instead of the world’s big polluters.

At a media conference at the Durban International Convention Centre, UN Climate Change officials insisted that the Kyoto Protocal was alive and well.

And said there were several decisions on the table, that were ready to be adopted.

Cop 17 president Maite Nkoanan-Mashabane said: "Durban can take two central and decisive steps to make the world more climate-resilient and to put it on a low-carbon path. One set of tasks relates to how governments will work together to achieve their common goal of limiting the global temperature rise to a level which can prevent the worst ravages of climate change. This means answering the very important question of the future of the Kyoto Protocol…and agreeing to how they want to move towards a future multilateral rules-based system on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The other major decisive step, or basket of tasks, relates to completing what was agreed last year at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun."

The Cop President said negotiators had also held robust discussions on the Green Climate Fund in the past week. She said this fund was crucial for the financial support of adaptation and mitigation in developing countries to begin in ernest. And said that it be launched in Durban. She said the UN was very positive about China’s statement that it insists on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol - the only treaty which holds nations accountable for cutting Greenhouse Carbon Emissions.

Maite Nkoanan-Mashabane said: "And I think China here is beginning to answer the question as to how do we sign up on the second commitment period. This is not the end. It is China laying the cards on the table. And I’m sure other negotiators will also be laying their cards on the table. And real work then gets escalated. And that’s what makes us hopeful that we are moving in the right kind of direction."

Reporter: "Civil Society Organization Actionaid International praised China for calling on rich countries to meet their existing commitments before a new climate treaty could be reached. Actionaid said that China had shown more ambition on slashing its carbon emissions than most other countries.

But they slammed the United States, saying if the US did not want to step up to the plate on the issue of climate change... Then it had to move aside, and stop holding the rest of the world to ransom."

The High Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference starts on Tuesday, with 12 Heads of State and Government and 130 ministers expected to start their talks in

Durban. And with less than a week left to hammer out crucial decisions and deals on climate change, the pressure is on.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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