Spotlight on Durban
The long road to Durban
Almost exactly a year ago the UK Youth Climate Network launched their One Step campaign to get young people active in making a contribution to tackle climate change. Since then, almost 2000 teens and children have pledged to take one simple step to combat climate change – ranging from having shorter showers to eating locally-produced food. The campaign ended on a high when the Network presented the UK energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, with their campaign and tasked him with representing UK youth perspectives at the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Find out more about the One Step campaign here.
Green activist turned true climate campaigner
Cat Hudson grew up in Runcorn, England where climate change was not at the forefront of people’s minds. But Cat was different. The environment has always been important to this green activist and she made her debut on the international climate scene in 2010 when she became a member of the UK Youth Climate Network. Shortly after she joined the UK Youth Climate Coalition and has carved a place for herself as a key youth representative in the UN climate discussions. “I really wanted to get involved and I believe it's important for young people to get involved because this is your future! Simple. It's important for people to raise their opinion or get involved because they have a voice!” Watch Cat speak at the United Nations climate meeting earlier this year.
Interested in knowing more about international politics and climate change?
We’ve prepared a brief for you explaining a short history of how climate change has been dealt with at an international level. It also gives you an idea about specific issues being discussed at COP17.
Have a look at our resources for teachers on bringing the national and international dimensions of climate change into your lessons.
Outcomes of COP17 in Durban
The Kyoto Protocol - due to expire at the end of 2012 has been extended to 2017.
Negotiators agreed to start work on a new climate deal (to replace the Kyoto Protocol) that would have legal force and require both developed and developing countries to cut their carbon emissions. The conditions for this new legally binding agreement need to be agreed by 2015 and will come into effect from 2020. The “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” is now in charge of developing the new legally binding protocol which will be applicable under the U.N. climate change convention (UNFCCC).
Biggest achievement in Durban:
China, the world's biggest emitter, agreed to be legally bound to curb their greenhouse gases
The US, the second biggest emitter, also agreed the new agreement should be legally binding
Climate Change Adaptation – progress was made on finalising the Green Climate Fund (US$100billion per year from 2020) where developing countries will receive funding to help them to deal with the effects of climate change and develop towards becoming green economies.
People from Non-Government Organisations, Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society Organisations are unhappy that negotiators failed to raise emissions cuts to a level high enough to reduce global warming (so we are still moving towards a 4 degrees increase in temperature). Scientists have shown evidence that if the earth’s temperature rises above 2 degrees Celsius, we will have to deal with catastrophic climate change. Scientists have even said that we need to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, but governments have not agreed any plan for being able to achieve this.
For specific updates that happened during the COP click here.
Hold your own virtual climate summit!
Run your own virtual climate summit, watch videos and share your views on our dedicated Durban Climate Summit group. If you’re not a member you can still visit read people’s views, watch videos and download teacher and student resources.
Voices from Durban
Clifford Mahlung is Jamaica's chief climate negotiator.
The Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa is not going according to the plan. While countries are experiencing serious threats from potential life-taking impacts related to climate change negotiators have failed to make rapid progress toward a new commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol or a new treaty for the Climate Change Convention. Read the full blog here.
You can read previous guest blogs below:
Read Luke's blog here. Luke is a UNICEF Climate Ambassador.
Read Teddy's blog here. Teddy is the social media strategist at Connect4Climate at the World Bank.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 20 December 2011 16:48)