Gallery: COP 17 Kicks Off as 200 Nations Converge in South Africa to Sa...


The 17th Conference of the Parties — also known as COP17 or the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference — kicked off today in Durban, South Africa – despite echoing doubts cast by the world’s media outlets about the ability of the conference to succeed. Heading into the conference, the Chinese negotiator stated publicly that he’s “not very optimistic” about the meeting, Canada is rumored to be backing out of the Kyoto Protocol in just a few weeks, the United States is warning that if China doesn’t budge it won’t either, and the European Union is shouting above the fray that even ratifying the Kyoto Protocol across the board isn’t enough — we need more regulations. The nearly 200 nations gathered have until December 9th to reach an agreement that has a chance of stalling global emissions, halting rising sea levels, staving off increasingly intense weather, stopping droughts and preserving our place as citizens of this planet we call Earth.

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