Outside of the talks in Durban, world leaders and environmentalists are outraged at the lack of progress at the talks. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (shown above, on right) said today that raising the money needed for the Green Climate Fund was not an option, even when the world’s economy is in the precarious position that it is in now, raising the cash is, “an imperative. We have to do it.” The United States and China are still the largest obstacles to the reaching of an agreement and most agree that they should put their political dreams aside for the good of the human race.
Jo Leinen, a German who represents the E.U. at the conference was at wits end with the China vs. U.S. battle earlier today. “It is unacceptable and no more tolerable that this game is blocking the overall process. Now that China has done some moves, let’s test their seriousness. I don’t see the same commitment, the same signals from the U.S. The one is not yet ready; the other is not willing. We really have a problem,” Leinen was quoted saying. China decided today that they might be willing to commit to lowering emissions after 2020 after all current commitments are met — most likely he was referring to the likely doomed Kyoto Protocol. He mentioned that even after 2020, he believed that poorer nations like China, and its counterparts should be treated differently in the agreement than richer nations, a statement which the United States has already said is not acceptable.
“It is important to keep in mind climate action can happen at a federal level, at a state level and at a local level. The State of California has recently put into place comprehensive climate legislation. If [California] were a country it would be the 8th or 9th largest country in the world,” Jennifer Haverkamp said alluding to the fact that she believes no global agreements will be met, so countries should start creating their own individual, ambitious emissions reductions plans.
Though no large agreement has been met the leaders have managed to agree on steps to limit the destruction of rain forests, assist in the sharing of green technology with developing nations and create a method by which each country’s emissions can be quantified.