Warsaw talks end with some progress.

Daniel F Benson-Guiu

Climate Talks in Warsaw

Climate talks in Warsaw have come to an end. After two weeks of negotiations, which saw activist groups leave the conference in protest, negotiators have reached a compromise on how to target climate change.

According to the BBC, the agreement was achieved after a series of last minute compromises often involving single words in draft texts. Many of the participants say little was achieved.

Negotiators argued about the term ‘commitment’ in the draft text, which lead to a deadlock lasting more than a day. China and India said only developed countries should have commitments, while Western nations refuse to sign the text unless developing nations take on a portion of the responsibilities.

‘Commitments’ was finally changed to ‘contributions’. The BBC explains: The more flexible word allows the US and EU to insist that everyone is on the same page, while also allowing China and India to insist that they are doing something different from the richer countries.

The real juice of the negotiations won’t be seen until the next conference in Paris in 2015.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo tied in the climate negotiations and the detention of the ‘Arctic 30’ in a press release:

“I have just come from the UN climate talks in Warsaw where governments again have failed to take action against climate change. The Arctic 30 took action and it is time that governments acted with them. It is time for the Arctic 30 to come home to their loved ones. It is time for the Arctic to be protected. Thirty people stood up for 7 billion people. We must stand with them.”

At least one positive.

However there was at least one positive to come from the talks. Negotiators in Warsaw have agreed to a set of measures that will ensure developing nations receive payments for leaving trees in the ground.

Proponents of these measures argue this could create jobs while also protecting the environment in developing nations. Deforestation accounts for 20% of all CO2 emissions.

Though technical issues such as funding still have to be agreed upon, the measures would have a significant net benefit.

Countries with tropical rainforests such as Malaysia, Indonesia, DRC Congo and Brazil will reap the rewards, but so will countries with other ecosystems that act as a carbon sink.

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  • Posted on Nov. 25, 2013. Listed in:

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