Climate change back on the table

by Sunnah Khan

Friends of the Earth Campaigner, Natascha Deigner, rallying support in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town to put pressure on the EU to transition to a low carbon economy

In less than a month confederates from around the world will gather in Durban for the 17th annual UN climate change conference. Over the last twenty years there has been a significant increase in global carbon dioxide emissions. Currently the EU is responsible for 13% of global emissions with the US emitting nearly twice as much.

The Keyoto protocol is set to expire in 2012 and this years conference will see a renegotiation of the process as to what the new protocol will look like and which countries will participate. Set out in 1997 as an  international agreement to act on climate change, the Koyoto protocol set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Paradoxically since its insemination global emissions have increased by 45per cent according to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. An all-time high of 33 billion tonnes of CO2 was pumped into the atmosphere last year alone.

Natascha Deigner an activist for Friends of the earth emphasized that now more than ever there was a need to act on the issue of climate change; ‘We’re going to get runaway climate change. We’re going to have catastrophic climate change and certain things are going to be irreversible…rising sea levels, rising temperatures, will have devastating effect.’

The 2011 climate change conference is set to take place in Durban next month.