In her speech opening COP 17, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, highlighted the importance of industrialized countries committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions, pointing to the devastating effects of climate change in developing countries.
Wealthier nations also have an important role to play financing the Green Climate Fund. However, the global economic crisis is causing wealthier nations to shy away from the Green Climate Fund intended to help poorer nations that are badly affected by climate change, and yet least responsible for it.
The US is taking heat for its resistance to the Green Climate Fund. The US delegates are reportedly pushing for “cooptation of climate financing mechanisms,” which seeks funding from corporations and international financing institutions.
The US has joined Russia, Japan and Canada which have all refused to sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
“Shame on you, Barack Obama, and the delegations from the US, Russia and Canada,” Zwelinzima Vavi, president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions said.
The Durban talks are being impeded by the continuing refusal of key industrialized countries to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to keep global warming below the internationally agreed upon guardrail of 2 degrees Celsius.
“Durban is a crime scene, KwaZulu-Natal is a crime scene, the African continent is a crime scene, the whole world is a crime scene,” said Mr Vavi, referring to the effects of pollution and the release into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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