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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Climate conference: Different place, same result
12/15/2010
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Climate change summit´s participants leave empty-handed.

For the second consecutive year, United Nations-led climate change talks fell short of a binding agreement to stem emissions that cause global warming. The more than 190 participants in the summit for 2010, which was also the hottest year on record, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, approved the Cancún Agreements including to keep global temperature increases bellow 2ºC, but failed to establish any concrete measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, they agreed on an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which expire in 2012, which requires industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent based on 1990 levels, but this agreement included no time frame or mechanisms to achieve the goal.

They also agreed on a green climate fund for developing countries to reduce their emissions and for climate change adaptation and mitigation programs, for a total of US$100 billion by 2020. The fund will be administered by the World Bank.

Bolivia was the only country to reject the agreement outright, arguing it was not aggressive enough to avoid a rapid increase in global warming, calling the agreement empty and a “false victory.” The Andean country announced that it will engage a formal complaint before the International Court of Justice for the way in which this summit´s agreements were adopted.

“We are representatives of a small country that has principles, a small one but a sovereign one,” said head of the Bolivian delegation, Pablo Solón, adding that the country finished its participation in the summit “with its head held high.”
“We are the delegation of a country that is not for sale … that has a lot of dignity,” he said.

The Continental Social alliance, an umbrella group of civil society groups from around the Americas, said in a statement that Bolivia´s proposals had been ignored in the agreements, which failed to mention environmental rights or any binding court for climate justice.

“The world´s governments had an obligation to find a solution to the [climate] crisis and offer answers to guarantee humanity´s survival, and they weren´t capable of doing that,” said the group in a statement. “The negotiations´ result showed that the logic of profits overrides life and the planet.”

The next climate conference is scheduled for December 2011 in Durban, South Africa.
—Latinamerica Press.


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