It’s midway through the UN climate talks in Durban, SA and the draft text for the agreement that will come out of this year conference has just been released. I saw the text this morning, and it is 131 pages! This draft of the final agreement is long on pages and short on definition. A week may be a long time in politics but it far too short for the task governments have ahead.

By the end of next week Governments need to:

  • Ensure a peak in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2015

  • Ensure that the Kyoto Protocol continues and provide a mandate for a comprehensive legally binding instrument

  • Deliver the necessary finance to tackle climate change

  • Set up a framework for protecting forests in developing countries

  • Ensure global cooperation on technology and energy finance

  • Ensure international transparency in assessing and monitoring country commitments and actions

Here is what Kumi had to say about it:

“This is not a dress rehearsal, a week of belligerence, bickering and backstabbing needs to now give way to real deals about the future of our planet. Those who are not interested in saving lives, economies and environments, like the US, must now stand aside and let those with the political will move forward,” said Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

“Protecting vulnerable communities, countries and habitats costs money, that money was to be put on the table here in Durban, but so far we don’t even know where the money will come from. There is a real risk we walk away from durban with empty pockets. And that failure will be measured in lives, economies and habitats,” said Tove Ryding, Greenpeace Co-ordinator for climate policy.

If Governments don’t move on without the US the final agreement will be stripped of any possibility of protecting the climate.