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UN Climate Talks: Durban Deal Does Little But Save Face

In overtime, climate negotiators fall short of the end zone but gain a few yards

Oxfam Int'l

Climate activists set the table for major progress in Durban but went home hungry.

Negotiators from more than 190 countries head home after two weeks of talks toward a new accord to curb carbon emissions.

The final deal extends the expiring Kyoto treaty and levels the playing field for the US, but triggers no immediate action.

A condensed diary from Week Two of the Durban conference:

Sun: There’s a glimmer of hope when word circulates that China might consider some kind of binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

Tue: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says “The world cannot accept ‘No’ for an answer in Durban. Negotiators continue to provide “No” for an answer. Richard Harris reports for NPR that attaining the soft goal of stopping warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) is “proving to be a stretch” with the current voluntary emissions targets. Continue reading

UN Climate Talks: The Highlights Reel

All you need to know about this year’s round, without going all the way to South Africa

Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace

Despite the Iwo Jima imagery, there are few signs of victory for climate activists in Durban.

The 194 nations that, for nearly 20 years, have been hashing out prospects for putting the brakes on global warming, are at it again — this time in Durban, South Africa. Whereas at one time the world was looking to the US for leadership on a climate solution, the theme of Week One appeared to be the emergence of the US as an obstructionist force in the process.

Sun: Activists wasted no time in creating iconic images for the conference (see photo). Continue reading