By Richard Romano on December 12th, 2011
I’ve always said that if you set expectations low enough, it’s easy to be satisfied. That could perhaps serve as the motto of the recent U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Whilst AP called it a “landmark deal,” perhaps it’s a landmark in the sense that there was any deal at all. Mother Nature Network sums up what came out of the talks:
Beyond extending the Kyoto Protocol to 2017, the Durban Platform also lays the groundwork for an all-inclusive, legally binding deal to cut CO2 emissions. This accord is to be hashed out by 2015 and should become operational by 2020. Formally dubbed the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, it would “develop a new protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force” that could be enforced under the existing U.N. climate convention.
…[T]he 11th-hour agreement was both valuable enough and vague enough to let many countries claim success.
Leaders of small island states, which are on the front lines of sea-level rise, were less enthusiastic. “I would have wanted to get more, but at least we have something to work with,” said the negotiator for a coalition of small nations. “All is not lost yet.”