The agreement reached at the UN climate summit in Durban on Sunday for an effective cut in carbon emissions by 2020 "is a breakthrough that must be followed by firm action", said Jo Leinen, chair of the European Parliament's delegation to the COP 17 summit.
The main challenge of the Durban talks was to find a deal acceptable to developed and developing countries on the future of the Kyoto protocol on fighting global warming, which expires at the end of 2012.
“The European Parliament strongly supports a Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, as long as environmental integrity is respected," Leinen said “We urgently need countries to sign up to a ‘roadmap’ that will lead to agreement on a binding global deal by 2015...If an international deal only takes effect in 2020, the agreed target to limit warming to 2º will be in serious danger.”
“The EU’s climate diplomacy has worked," delegation vice-chair Karl-Heinz Florenz said. "The world has changed and it is right to define developing and developed countries according to the new realities."
Even the more cautious countries, including the US, India and China, agreed on the need to continue the fight to stop climate change. "I welcome that China has shown it wants to take on new responsibilities and play a new role in the world. We all need to intensify our efforts because much remains to be done," Florenz added.
The Durban conference also made progress on defining a "Green Climate Fund", which will raise $100 billion a year by 2020. The next climate summit, due to be held in Qatar in 2012, should clarify the sources
2 weeks of negotiations
195 countries agreed on a roadmap to the UN climate change convention
2015 deadline to reach agreement
2º limit to global temperature rise