SCENARIOS-What can UN climate talks in Durban deliver?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:33pm GMT

By David Fogarty

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Delegates from nearly 200 countries meet in South Africa from November 28 for major climate talks with the most likely outcome modest steps towards a broader deal to cut greenhouse gas pollution to fight climate change.

Years of fraught U.N.-led climate talks have so far failed to win agreement from all big polluting nations on stronger emissions curbs, despite soaring greenhouse gas emissions and a string of weather disasters across the globe.

The United Nations, the International Energy Agency and others say global pledges to curb carbon pollution won't prevent the planet heating up beyond two degrees Celsius, a threshold scientists say risks wilder weather, crop failures, melting ice caps and major floods.

Delegates meeting in Durban November 28 to December 9 won't reach agreement on a broader pact. But they do need to decide what to do with the Kyoto Protocol, which poorer nations insist must be extended beyond 2012 and which is the only treaty that sets carbon caps. Some countries now say a new deal will not be in place until after 2020.

Following are possible outcomes from Durban.


Chances: Very unlikely/next to impossible

Kyoto commits less than 40 rich nations to meeting binding emissions targets during 2008-12. But the 1997 pact doesn't include the United States -- which never ratified it -- and developing nations only have to take voluntary steps.   Continued...

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