COP 17 image via Wylio http://bit.ly/vjX59V
After two weeks of extensive talking, and running hours beyond schedule, a deal to cut global carbon emissions finally has been reached. As the climate conference in Durban, South Africa came to a close last weekend, a treaty known as the Durban Platform emerged, requiring all countries to begin curbing carbon emissions by 2020.
The deal binds all countries — rich and poor — to “hold the increase in global average temperature below 2C or 1.5C above pre-industrial levels,” according to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Further, plans for enhanced action must be solidified by 2015, with the contracts bearing legal force.
Michael Jacobs, a member of the of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, told the BBC that " by forcing countries for the first time to admit that their current policies are inadequate and must be strengthened by 2015, it has snatched 2C from the jaws of impossibility. At the same time it has re-established the principle that climate change should be tackled through international law, not national, voluntarism.”
But the treaty has its drawbacks.