FE Editorial : Doha’s impact
The two-week UN climate change negotiations came to an end on Saturday with no concrete steps taken to try to halt global warming, some promises for future action and, perhaps most importantly, a historic alteration of its principles. That no concrete steps or commitments by countries to reduce emissions would be made was pretty much expected. First, of course, was the location of the talks—the fact that Qatar, with the highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the world, managed to edge out South Korea, arguably one of the hardest working countries in terms of green growth initiatives, as host said something about the character of the talks that were held at Doha. The US, which has so far refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, failed yet again to put any meaningful emission reductions on the table—it agreed to cut emissions by a mere 3% over 1990 levels, a joke. The Kyoto Protocol, drafted in 1997 and obliging wealthy countries to cut their emissions, has now been extended to 2020, but this again is little more than words. The emissions of those still bound by the Kyoto Protocol amount to only an estimated 15% of the global total. What is needed, as was suggested during last year’s Durban talks, is a new treaty obliging all countries—rich and poor—to tackle climate change. One of the main achievements in Doha this time around was the clearing of the way for the Kyoto Protocol to be
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