Global environmental challenges
Old rifts between negotiators of rich and poor countries re-surfaced at UN climate talks last weekend, posing a question mark over the continued usefulness of meetings held at least twice a year, and which can be traced back to the signing of the UN Climate Convention on Climate Change in 1992.
Is it now time to end those talks, which are focused on delivering a global climate deal to succeed the present Kyoto Protocol after 2012?
It could be argued that their last big breakthrough was the signing of Kyoto in 1997. Possible alternative processes include more streamlined meetings of ministers and leaders, to agree emissions cuts and funds to help the poor face a warmer world.
The UN process was thrown into focus by a Copenhagen climate summit last December which failed to deliver an “agreed outcome” on a new global deal, as promised by environment ministers two years earlier.