This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Climate Change Conferences Wraps Up in South Africa

For the past two weeks, representatives from virtually all countries have been meeting in Durban, South Africa, at a UN-sponsored conference on climate change, as I had previously mentioned. The Associated Press reports that it appears tonight that a last-minute agreement has been reached:

The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime to enforce their commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.
Currently, only industrial countries have legally binding emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Those commitments expire next year, but they will be extended for another five years under the accord adopted Sunday.
Now, to be sure, agreeing to "start negotiations" may not sound like much progress, but it is better than the nothing that at one point appeared to be forthcoming. In particular, it seems that the US was less obstructionist in the end than had been expected.
After weeks of being accused of obstructionism and delay, U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern voiced surprisingly strong support for the deal.
"This is a very significant package. None of us likes everything in it. Believe me, there is plenty the United States is not thrilled about," Stern said. But the package captured important advances that would be undone if it is rejected.

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