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United Nations climate summit wraps up

Eve Troeh Dec 9, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: The meeting in Europe wasn’t the only big summit we’re talking about today. Climate change negotiators and United Nations delegates are in Durban, South Africa. And they’re working on a deal to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.
Their talks are so heated that they’re expected to pull an all-nighter tonight, in an attempt to reach some sort of deal — any sort of deal.

From the Marketplace sustainability desk, Eve Troeh reports.

Eve Troeh: Just to show where we’re at on…optimists at Durban are holding out hope that the UN countries can agree to make a plan on climate change. They won’t sign it. They won’t put it into action. But, they’ll agree… to write it down. It would build on the Kyoto treaty, with more aggressive cuts for greenhouse gases, and include the world’s biggest polluters — namely, the U.S. and China.

Richard Gledhill is in Durban with accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. He says any new plan would not start until 2015.

Richard Gledhill: We’re not yet seeing more significantly more ambitious targets starting now, but at least there is a timeframe in place, if you like, a road map.

That road map would lead to 2020…and reduce emissions enough between now and then to stave off eventual catastrophe, according to scientists.

David Waskow at Oxfam says if the U.S. and China don’t sign on, other countries could say: what’s the point?

David Waskow: Negotiators may feel that the kind of outcomes they’re getting are too meager and too weak.

Without some kind of agreement in Durban, the world could see another decade of record-setting greenhouse gas emissions.

I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

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