Durban kicked the can down the road, the key points being that the Kyoto process survived and that the developing countries (India and China) accepted some responsibility for limiting emissions.
The deal renews the Kyoto Protocol, the fraying 1997 emissions agreement that sets different terms for advanced and developing countries, for several more years. But it also begins a process for replacing it with something that treats all nations equally. The expiration date of the protocol — 2017 or 2020 -- and the terms of any agreement that replaces it will be negotiated at future sessions of the governing body, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.The later was the sticking point
United Nations global warming talks headed toward a deadlock as China and India blocked a European Union proposal the 27-nation bloc said was essential for it to extend limits on pollution.
India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said she objected to efforts by the EU to force developing nations into a legally-binding treaty limiting fossil fuel emissions by 2020. Chinese envoy Xie Zhenhua said rich nations are “not acting on their commitments” to cut greenhouse gases.
“India will never be intimidated by threats,” Natarajan said at the talks in Durban, South Africa today. “How do I give a blank check and give a legally-binding agreement to sign away the rights of 1.2 billion people?”
More details emerge this morning at the Guardian
A major crisis had been provoked after 3am on Sunday morning when the EU clashed furiously with China and India over the legal form of a potential new treaty. The EU plan to bind all countries to cuts was close to collapse after India inserted the words "legal outcome" at the last minute into the negotiating text. . . .
With tempers rising and the talks minutes from being abandoned, the chair, South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, ordered China, India, the US, Britain, France, Sweden, Gambia, Brazil and Poland to meet in a small group or "huddle".
Surrounded by a crowd of nearly 100 delegates on the floor of the hall, they talked quietly among themselves to try to reach a new form of words acceptable to all.
But it was Brazil's chief negotiator, lawyer Luis Figueres, who came up with the compromise, proposing to substitute "an agreed outcome with legal force" for "legal outcome". This, said an EU lawyer, was much stronger, effectively meaning "a legally binding agreement".
"Yes, yes," cheered the crowd of onlookers around the politicians, and the talks were back on track.
Two hours later the 16-day talks were effectively over, with a commitment by all countries to accept binding emission cuts by 2020. As part of the package of measures agreed, a new climate fund will be set up, carbon markets will be expanded and countries will be able to earn money by protecting forests.
This outcome, although not nearly what was needed shows that the world knows that a climate treaty is necessary.
In other important news United Russia (aka the Party of Swindlers and Thieves ) is under increasing pressure to admit stealing the recent election and have another one. Evidence of outright vote stealing is clear. The Arab Spring turns into the Occupy Wall Street Fall and now the Russian Winter.