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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Obstacles to climate action

(China Daily)

13:14, December 05, 2011

It seems clear that the more one expects of Durban, the more disappointed one is going to be.

The first week of bargaining at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the South African port city turned out to be nearly fruitless, and the decision by civil society groups to dub last Saturday the "global day of action" appears merely wishful thinking.

As negotiators from developed countries haggle and filibuster their way through appeals for their governments to match rhetoric with action, it is obvious that the only thing that developed countries are willing to commit to is inaction.

Canada has already threatened to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, the United States is continuing to refuse to make any legally binding commitment on emissions reductions, and all the developed nations are trying to avoid fulfilling their previous promises of aid to developing countries.

US foot-dragging on development aid and refusal to commit to emissions reduction is the central cause of the impasse, not just in Durban.

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