Climatologists have recently issued a warning over global weather patterns, stating that the world will experience more severe storms, droughts and flooding and that they attribute this to increased man-made global warming. Durban should be a wake-up call for the world to listen and act.
So far the news ahead of the Durban conference has been depressing. Global recession is taking precedence and many of the industrialised countries are reluctant to commit to the financial programmes necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We have been told that a positive and substantial outcome is unlikely, but Greens believe it is essential that a package is negotiated that allows a global agreement to be forthcoming for the post-2012, second commitment period.
From 28 November to 9 December this year, the global community will converge in Durban for yet another round of negotiations to work out a deal to stabilise the climate system and assure vulnerable communities of a promising future.
Many of the world's poorest countries will be first to face the severity of climate change leading to ecological devastation and thousands of environmental refugees.
The challenges at Durban are to secure the future of the Kyoto protocol and to have a political commitment to the continuance of a second commitment period under Kyoto. For all of its difficulties, it is the one tool that we have that is a legal tool that has mandatory binding targets and that is why it is so important that we have to make sure that there is some way of that going forward.
It's the wealthy countries that have contributed most of the greenhouse gas emissions and they are absolutely in a position to help the poorer countries. Most poorer countries have not even reached the levels of CO2 emissions that climate scientists say is causing climate change. A contraction and convergence model, whereby the rich industrialised countries drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions allowing the poorer countries to stabilise theirs is the model preferred by the Green Party.
Of course many will feel that asking politicians to safeguard our world is like asking wolves to guard lambs but sadly there is little alternative. Time is running out. We must hammer home to them the importance of people before profit.
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