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Agreement On Climate Deal Unlikely At Durban U.N. Conference, Ban Says

“Only a binding global accord on cutting greenhouse gases will spare Africa, the world’s poorest continent, more devastating floods, droughts and famine, a senior African climate change official said on Tuesday” at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, Reuters reports. “The talks, bringing together nearly 200 nations, have repeatedly struggled to get a new deal to update the Kyoto Protocol, whose crucial clause on enforcing targets on carbon cuts expires at the end of next year,” the news service writes. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, chair of the Africa Group, “said legal force was the only way to make polluters take the necessary action and states who failed to deliver should in effect be ‘named and shamed,'” according to the news service (Lewis, 12/7).

However, “[a]n all-encompassing climate deal ‘may be beyond our reach for now,’ [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] said Tuesday as China and India delivered a setback to European plans to negotiate a new treaty that would bind all parties to their pledges on greenhouse gas emissions,” the Associated Press/Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes (Max, 12/6). “Ban acknowledged the current strain in the global economic situation, but underscored that while countries need to be realistic about their expectations, they must also be ambitious, as the health of the global economy, the livelihoods of millions of people, and the survival of some nations are all affected by the impact of climate change,” the U.N. News Centre notes (12/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.