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Media response

Merely 15 %

by D+C / E+Z

Opinion

While diplomats discussed climate matters in Qatar’s capital, Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines.  According to media reports, more than 700 people were killed: a banana plantation after the storm.

While diplomats discussed climate matters in Qatar’s capital, Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines. According to media reports, more than 700 people were killed: a banana plantation after the storm.

One result of the UN climate summit in Doha in December was the extension until 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol, in which advanced nations had committed to reducing carbon emissions in 1997. However, fewer countries are participating than previously – far too few, to effectively stem global warming. For the first time, a climate summit discussed compensations for losses and damages, but no additional funding was made available. The summit reconfirmed that all issues will be settled in a new comprehensive climate agreement that is to be negotiated by 2015 and come into force by 2020. Media around the world were not enthusiastic about the Doha summit.

Qatar: Doha News
After two long weeks of stumping for Mother Earth, environmental activists succeeded in getting 35 industrialised nations to renew the Kyoto Protocol for another eight years. That’s the good news. The bad news, as many climate change delegates are pointing out, is that big greenhouse gas emitters like Russia, Japan and Canada have bowed out of the only legally binding treaty that compels countries to lower their industrial output. That means the adherents who are now bound by the protocol – namely Australia and several European countries – account for only 15 % of global emissions.

Buenos Aires: La Nación
The problem is that the nations that pledged to reduce emissions in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol only account for 15 % of global emissions at most. The UN is trying to stem global warming with a feeble plan. On the other hand, the collapse of the 18th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was averted. Failure would have been a huge setback after 20 years of efforts to reduce carbon emissions. That goal ­remains to be achieved.  

Mumbai: The Economic Times
The Doha talks made an important shift by recognising that 20 years of efforts to limit emissions and adapt to climate change had not been a success, and, as a result developing countries were experiencing loss and damage – opening up the possibility of rich industrialised countries compensating developing countries for losses due to climate change. This is perhaps the most important contribution of the Doha talks – a recognition that was hard won by developing countries and likely to be contentious in the years to come.

Peking: China Daily
Changing the world’s consumption habits must be a better goal. … With its complex climate system, China has one of the world’s most vulnerable ecological environments. Its coastal areas have witnessed significant rises in sea levels, with historic highs set for the past three years. Public awareness is key in addressing climate change. Some may feel frustrated by the slow pace of the climate change talks, but it’s hard to influence negotiators from so many different countries, each with different experiences. In the meantime, everyone could adjust their lifestyles. A small car is all you need to commute; getting one would indicate a person’s awareness of climate change and their hopes for a greener future.

Paris: Le Monde
Not a single country dared to call this result satisfying, and it is indeed worrisome in two ways. On substance, it proves that there is a lack of will to fight global warming with determination. On form, it was a repetition of annual summit failings, which proves just how much confidence will be needed to negotiate a global deal by 2015. ... The efforts of the industrialised countries remain extremely modest. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC estimates that they have to reduce emission by “25 to 40 %” to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius on average. So far, reduction commitments, according to the Climate Action Tracker, only amount to ten to 15 % at most.