Last Day of the Bali Summit

The UNFCCC Climate Change talks in Bali are in their last day now, and although we've refrained from commenting on the 10 days of talks so far, the tension at the Bali summit is definitely increasing.

The whole point of the Bali Summit is for world leaders to produce a roadmap, a Bali Roadmap if you will, for environmental issues to be addressed on a global scale as a follow on to the Kyoto Protocol. Although some nations have not ratified the 1997/2005 Kyoto Protocol, i.e. they will not attempt to limit nor reduce their emissions, the Bali summit is an opportunity to get those nations onboard in, effectively, the second round after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

So how do the world's nations stand as far as cutting emissions is concerned? Well, Europe is strongly in the FOR camp. Australia, under new leadership, although it never signed up to the original Kyoto agreement to cut emissions to 5.5% below 1990 levels by 2012, has now joined Europe.

Currently opposed to any cuts are the USA, Canada and Japan.

Just as Kyoto became International Law in 2005 to all its signatories, Bali is looking for 25-40% cuts in emissions by 2020. Europe and Australia are keen to be committed to these cuts whereas the US and Canada in particular are not. Japan believes they cannot achieve such reductions.

On the penultimate day the EU delegation threatened to boycott the US climate summit next month if the US did not commit to cutting emissions. The progress at these talks has been so slow that there is no guarantee of any agreements by the close of play today and the head of the UN has even expressed his intention to return to Bali in an attempt to save the summit and broker deals if no agreements are made today.

The US climate change summit comes ahead of America's refusal to commit to Kyoto under the auspices that it would cost jobs and threaten the economy of the world's (current) largest polluter. And yet back in September George Bush laughably claimed the USA as a world leader in combating climate change. Not yet your not, but maybe someday soon.

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Comments

Hi,

I was just wondering; did Canada ever agree to sign the agreement? Or what the final agreements were?

HI Lucy,

Canada opposed a number of key elements that were on the agenda and, alongside the United States, was virtually isolated in its stance. A number of UN officials noted that, with the US, Canada's behaviour was "obstructive".

Canada did finally agree to the Bali Roadmap. You can read more detail at the David Suzuki Foundation.