Statement on the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban

Statement of Elliot Diringer
Executive Vice President
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 11, 2011

The Durban deal is a solid step in the right direction.  It preserves Kyoto for now, but more importantly, lays a path toward a more balanced agreement.

For the near term, the deal builds on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancún with practical steps to strengthen the multilateral climate framework.  The most important of these are the new Green Climate Fund and a stronger transparency system so countries can better assess each others’ efforts.  These incremental steps will help strengthen action and confidence, and build a stronger foundation for a future agreement.

For the longer term, parties launched a new round of negotiations toward a post-2020 agreement.  The United States stood firm on the need for a more balanced approach, and China and other emerging economies conceded that by 2020 they need to be full partners in this effort.  Negotiating the details will be extremely tough.  But the broad terms reached in Durban help ensure that any future treaty will include commitments from both developed and developing countries.

A binding deal is important, but what’s most urgent right now is strengthening political will and action on the ground.  We all need to go back home and redouble our efforts for stronger national action.  In the U.S. in particular, we need the public more engaged and the politicians less afraid to acknowledge and address the reality of climate change.

Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, 703-516-4146

Click here for more information on the Durban climate conference.