The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol opened on Monday, 26 November and continues until Friday, 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.
Nearly 200 countries launched a fresh round of UN climate talks in Doha, facing urgent appeals to scale up the fight against greenhouse gas emissions.
“Time is running out,” Christiana Figueres, the UN climate chief told a press conference.
“The door is closing fast on us because the pace and the scale of action is simply not yet where it must be.”
The run-up to the 12-day conference — the annual climax to negotiations on climate change — coincided with a welter of warnings that violent events like superstorm Sandy will become commonplace if mitigation efforts fail.
>DOHA, Qatar, Nov 26 (IPS) – Extreme weather disasters, including floods and droughts intensified by climate change, have totalled many billions of dollars in damages this year.
And much worse is yet to come, warned the World Bank, International Energy Agency and even the big accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwC) in a separate reports detailing the consequences of failing to make major reductions in the fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change.
Those reports also urged all countries attending the U.N. climate change negotiations here in Doha, Qatar to agree to do far more to reduce emissions
The United States defended its track record on fighting climate change on Monday as UN talks began in Doha, saying it is making “enormous” efforts to slow global warming and help the poor nations most affected by it.
Other countries have accused Washington of hampering the climate talks ever since the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto protocol, the 1997 treaty limiting emissions of heat-trapping gases by industrialised countries. As negotiators met for a two-week session in oil and gas-rich Qatar, US delegate Jonathan Pershing suggested America deserved more credit.
“Those who don’t follow what the US is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous,” Pershing said.
DOHA — Melting permafrost is emerging as a new factor in climate change, allowing long-frozen carbon to be released into the air and accelerating global warming, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday (UNEP).
In a report issued as the annual round of UN climate talks entered their second day, UNEP said scientists had already pronounced thawing permafrost to be a worry but the issue remained off politicians’ radar.
“Its potential impact on the climate, ecosystems and infrastructure has been neglected for too long,” warned UNEP excutive director Achim Steiner.
“This report seeks to communicate to climate-treaty negotiators, policy makers and the general public the implications of continuing to ignore the challenges of warming permafrost.”
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