ONEPLANET Sustainability Review

Sustainability Research, Reviews and Signposting

Congratulations Earth, You’ve Been Granted an “Instrument”


Durban Climate Talks Conclude without Great Substance.

Hurrah, let’s all stand up and congratulate our climate change negotiators in Durban for finding the political will to grant our beloved Earth “an agreement to negotiate an ‘instrument’ with ‘legal force'”*… ?!?

Perhaps it’s better than collapsed talks, but somehow it all seems too little, too late… Binding agreements by 2015?!? In three years?!? Come into force by 2020?!?!? EIGHT YEARS???? Should you be inclined to go along with climate science predictions in the first place, pundits are reporting that this is insufficient to keep earth temperatures from rising the maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100 required to keep climate change within maximum safe limits to avoid dangerous effects, such as sea level rise and extreme weather events.

Just to put this in perspective, a few words on this temperature ceiling. We are already experiencing 0.7 degrees pre-industrial increase, although some scientists are reported to have said regional differences must be factored into a better estimate, whilst others are saying we are looking at a 4 degree increase by 2100 based on out current emissions. Some island states are even suggesting they wish to set a lower ceiling of 1.5 degrees, just a 0.8 degree increase from current levels. Just a little alarming.

An Editorial in the Guardian puts a slightly more positive spin on it, saying: “…it is cheerier to think of how bad things might have been than to rate the success of the final outcome. What was nearly a complete failure to agree even to go on trying to agree became instead a plan about a plan.”

And thanks to Reuters for cutting through all the Bias, opinion and political leaning by getting to the point of exactly what was agreed (you’d have to sift through several stories to figure it out if you weren’t already following it closely).

* Thanks to Richard Black, BBC Environment Corespondent, for the quote.

Photo courtesy of and with thanks to Michael Oko / World Resources Institute:

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This entry was posted on 11 December 2011 by in Climate Change, Environmental Sustainability, Sustainable Development.

Part of the Problem? or Part of the Solution?

Rampant consumerism.
Widespread unsustainable lifestyles.
Unsustainable business practices.
Damaging and unsustainable travel and transport.
Extensive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
These are some of the problems we face.
Energy crisis.
Financial crisis.
Uneducated and un-empowered.
Environmental damage.
Food and water shortage.
Climate change.
Are you part of the problem,
Or are you part of the solution?

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