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Durban climate talks end with last-minute deals (2)

(People's Daily Overseas Edition)

14:45, December 13, 2011

Of course, we should also see that it was more like a formal step rather than a practical step that developed countries agreed on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. It was only a temporary transitional arrangement.

Promoting and establishing a long-term, unified and legally binding global climate agreement that all large emission countries — including the United States, China and India — will participate in is the European Union's real strategic emphasis. Before May 2012, the European Union will not propose a higher emission reduction goal and make new contribution for reducing the global emission of greenhouse gases. The United States will not return to the protocol or shoulder similar emission reduction duties either. From every party's current emission reduction goal and action, it could be obviously seen that the goal of guaranteeing the global temperature rise less than two degrees Celsius will not be realized. Therefore, some international environmental protection organizations criticize that the Durban Conference did not go far enough.

One point that is worth mentioning is that the Durban Conference made positive progress in improving developing countries' actions and capacities to cope with climate change, such as fully starting the Green Climate Fund in 2012 and meanwhile establishing a 20-people standing committee in charge of managing the fund, establishing a 16-people adaptive committee in charge of coordinating global adaptive activities and using the Climate Technology Center and network to operate the technical mechanism.

Overall, the Durban Conference achieved positive results. Maintaining the normal operation of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and starting a new negotiation process, the conference gave a new direction and map for the future, played a linking role and opened a new chapter for international climate negotiations. However, the historical lessons of the unfinished Bali Route also served as a warning to the world that the international climate process is long and bumpy and will face serious challenges in future negotiations.

The conference is over, but there are still many issues left to negotiate about. A new process was established at the conference. It required cohesion from various parties to implement the follow-up emissions reduction targets and capital sources.

Developed countries stressed that the situation has greatly changed from the 20th century to the 21st century and tried to redefine the rules of "common but differentiated" responsibilities in a single legal framework to obscure the boundaries between developed and developing countries to escape their own obligations of emissions reduction.

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