U.N. Climate Group Releases Weather Data
By DEVON MAYLIE
DURBAN—On the sidelines of the United Nations-sponsored climate change talks in South Africa, the World Meteorological Organization said the global average temperature in 2011 was down from the record high in 2010 due to it being a La Nina year, but it was still higher than previous La Nina years.
The latest weather data highlight the conundrum of the negotiations as governments spar on whether developed or emerging countries should bear the brunt of emission reductions. Few attendees expect a breakthrough on the talks, which come amid growing warnings about the likelihood and severity of global warming.
The U.N. weather group said 2011, still with one month left, was the 10th warmest year on record. While the temperature was down from 2010, the WMO said it was higher than previous La Nina years. La Nina typically has a cooling influence on temperatures.
Representatives from 192 countries plus the European Union are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for the U.N.-sponsored COP17 climate change talks in order to negotiate what to do as the commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. So far, the signs are that the old dividing lines between developed and developing countries linger, leading many to have low expectations for the outlook of the agreement.
Attendees are also sparring over $100 billion for a Green Climate Fund that is supposed to support the poorer countries in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to combat the effects of changing weather patterns.
Participants continued to lay out their positions on Tuesday.
"Without consensus the whole international system on climate would be placed in peril," said Sue Wei, the deputy of the Chinese climate negotiating team.
Sue also said China wasn't on board with an EU proposal to formulate a new agreement that would legally bind all countries to cutting emissions.
Venezuela's negotiating team also lamented Tuesday that it thinks the efforts to reduce emissions have been left to the developing countries. which are doing more than industrialized nations and that this threatens a second term to the Kyoto Protocol.
Some groups are making efforts to try and mobilize resources to address climate change.
The African Development Bank said Tuesday it will participate in a new agriculture fund in an attempt to get the sector more closely involved in climate change negotiations. The Climate Smart Agriculture fund, which will also involve the World Bank and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, will bring together African agriculture ministers and look to fund low-emission and carbon-capture farming projects.
And the global shipping industry body said it would consider helping to find a Green Climate Fund that the U.N. envisions helping the poorer countries adapt to changing weather patterns and mitigate carbon emissions.