Great Questions Arise at Durban Climate Conference

Durban, South Africa, Nov 29. -Debates at the 17th UN Conference on Climate Change on Tuesday entered the second day, with the challenge of overcoming the traditional slow pace of those negotiations and producing convincing agreements.Sessions of the subsidiary body for science and technology, meetings of the political groups and bilateral talks behind closed doors are the scenes where decisions are made, which should be announced on December 9 at the end of the Durban forum.

Speakers stated on Monday that time is running out and urgent actions are needed to save the planet from unequivocal rising temperatures, proven by science.

However, despite promising speeches at the International Conference Center halls in Durban, uncertainty prevails, particularly what will be the final result of the event, where positions between industrialized and developing nations are still very far apart.

The main unknown factor is what Durban will produce on the Kyoto Protocol, and whether this will satisfy the most vulnerable countries' demands with respect to climate change.

On Monday, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, Grenada spoke out for a process to increase the mitigation goals of industrialized nations, in a second period of commitments of the Kyoto document.

Also on the list is to advocate the implementation of new mechanisms established in Cancun, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Committee.

The Protocol was signed in 1977, ratified by 156 governments and, ultimately, rejected by two of the main global pollutants, the United States and Australia.

Its objective is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2012.

Today's agenda also includes meetings of the Working Group on Long-Term Cooperation, and the Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol.

In the afternoon, the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) will give a press conference, in which participants will reaffirm their positions regarding key issues of the meeting, among them the second period of Kyoto commitments.

This is precisely the first principle of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which since 1992 establishes that the parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations, on the basis of equity and in accordance with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The ALBA is comprised of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadine. (Prensa Latina)