COP18 : New Hope

The 18th United Nations climate change conference, known as COP18, has opened in Doha, the  capital of Qatar. Some 17,000 official delegates and world’s leading scientists from 194 nations are attending the summit opened on 26 November and continues until Friday, 7 December 2012.

WHAT IS COP18?

This is the 18th year the world’s nations will gather to discuss climate change and that the Conference of the Parties will meet to discuss how to deal with environmental issues like pollution caused by countries’ industrial emissions.

The main agenda in Doha is the launch of a follow-up commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only binding pact for curbing emissions. The protocol, whose first commitment period runs out on December 31, currently binds about 40 rich nations and the EU to an average five percent greenhouse gas reduction from 1990 levels.

We also had the now traditional round of climate impact reports from everyone from the UN Environment Programme to the World Bank , warning global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. Latest are ”Turn Down the Heat” : Report on Global Warming by World Bank and Maplecroft’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index.

Key Issues:

  • Kyoto Protocol 2: The first commitment of Kyoto Protocol is set to expire by December-end of 2012, so,  a second Kyoto agreement commitment is urgently required.
  • Deeper emission cuts: There must  be more in order to keep up with their promise of limiting the global warming to 2 degrees as pledged earlier.
  • Climate fund: It is also an important issue.

At present, China, the United States and India are world’s three largest emitters of greenhouse gases, with China leading the chart and India at third place. Let’s wait and watch if the political will of the world leaders attending the crucial climate conference exists or we will have to wait for some more climate disasters to serve as eye-openers.

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