Durban's last hours
Friday, December 09, 2011
There are only a few hours left to go at the global climate conference in Durban. And, right now, several outcomes are possible.
Yesterday a new alliance was born. Three geopolitical blocs, consisting of the European Union, the small island states and the least developed countries, joined together to make a statement calling for a stronger and more ambitious climate deal. This new alliance, in which some of the world's poorest countries sit alongside some of the richest, could spell hope both for the climate and the poor.
Countries with big hopes for a strong and binding international deal on climate change need to stand together. Their collective muscle can put pressure on countries that set unambitious targets themselves or block even the lowest targets set by others.
But this alliance has come together late in the day. And negotiations over the last 24 hours have not yet led to a breakthrough.
Tonight will tell whether world leaders have been capable of reaching the tough and uncompromising agreement needed to control the multiple problems caused by climate change. Or whether the Durban talks have been a wash-out.