COP-17 Mitigation

Mitigation: In contrast to Adaptation, Mitigation refers to avoiding the effects of climate change altogether, reducing carbon emissions so that the change is averted. Most countries have published their 5th National Communication on carbon emissions, although some, including the U.S. plan to publish in 2012. The countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol have met their goal of an overall 8% less than 1990 emissions by 2012. The pledge in Copenhagen was vaguely stated as a range of 25 to 40% reduction by 2020, but that was not legally binding. Developing countries are calling for 40% reduction by 2017 and 95% by 2050. According to current science, this is what is required to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C.

The existence and structure of the second Kyoto Protocol will determine mitigation results and is the subject of most discussion here in Durban. Next week during the ministerial high level negotiations this will be finalized. The basic positions are drawn. The developing countries are demanding a fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement now. The developed countries want to delay the legally binding agreement and offer less ambitious carbon emission goals. There are also issues of how much of a role market-based mechanisms will play. It is the 1% that will benefit that seem to be controlling the outcome. The 99% are protesting. I will continue to update this page as the second week negotiations continue. Back to COP-17