9 Dec

It is crunch time.

In the next 24 hours we will see whether the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) has the ability to produce something that can tackle climate change or whether governments are going to lock in horrifically low levels of ambition for the next 8 years until 2020.

But first lets remember what stage we were at, at the end of the first week of the 2011 UN climate talks.

This first draft text, contained nearly everything to do with climate change – this UN conference is seen to many as the end or the beginning of new climate negotiations – so throwing everything, plus the kitchen sink seemed to many as a logical step….

However there have been some bad boy countries ruining the whole process:-

Canada:
Back in the day, Canada were seen as good folks within the climate talks – but then came Tar Sands and loads of money, as well as a strong opinion of wanting to kill off and walk away form the Kyoto Protocol

USA: 
A dependency on a fossil fuels industry, really does lead to a one track mind on how much we should collectively as a planet, reduce our carbon emissions.

Saudi Arabia:
Have been a little bit quiet so far at COP17. However we can be sure that at the crucial moment – they will raise they voice and halt the talks from making significant carbon reduction targets

Brazil:
An odd country to be a bad boy, seeing as they hosted the original Earth Summit and next year will host Rio+20.
The thing is though, they are starting to side with the USA and are still tempted by the Amazon being  a forestry asset.

And what about the UK and EU? 

Both the UK and European Union are Kyoto Protocol lovers and have strong commitments concerning sustainability – the problem is they have just been too quiet – being more focused on financial issues and not leading international climate change action. which they both have the ability to do.

Over these last two weeks  – youth and civil society have been pushing for countries to take positive action on aspects like

Robin Hood Tax
Forests
and the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding agreement from the 1997 UN climate talks. It pushes for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (USA did not sign on)and its first commitment period ends in 2012.
KP does have it’s issues when it comes to effective climate change action; however Saving KP and pushing for a second commitment period, will mean that counties will still have a commitment to reducing greenhouse gases; instead of having a possible 8 year+ gap until another legal protocol or treaty could be made!

Canadian and American youth even reacted to their countries decisions, by taking direct action within the plenary hall – turning their back on their negotiator and speaking out of turn just to make sure they points about their own future were heard.

& the UK Youth Delegation?

In the words of Neva, the coordinator –

“The delegation are doing great. They’re legends”

and we totally agree with this statement – Check out the blogs, the photos, the videos and their tweets from the last two weeks
+ we must include Emma and Tom who have been in Belgium as part of the European youth event – Durban in Brussels.

The next 24 hours

All the big discussions will  take place behind closed doors  – so we don’t know exactly what will happen until they come out and make the announcement at some point tomorrow or on Saturday.

On top of that tension is mounting within the conference centre –  Security is jumpy and civil society is putting pressure on the negotiations.

It is a very tense atmosphere.

So keep up to date via our social media channels for all the information that we can gather and lets hope the negotiators finally understand and act on climate change

To be continued…

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