Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warship to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Earth

UN climate change summit gets underway in Durban

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-28

The annual UN Framework Convention on Climate Change convened in Durban, South Africa, on Monday for 12 days of talks on the future of the Kyoto Protocol and providing aid to the countries most at risk from drought, storms and rising seas.

AP - Global warming already is causing suffering and conflict in Africa, from drought in Sudan and Somalia to flooding in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said Monday, urging delegates at an international climate conference to look beyond national interests for solutions.

“For most people in the developing countries and Africa, climate change is a matter of life and death,” said the South African leader as he formally opened a two-week conference with participants from 191 countries and the European Union.

The conference is seeking ways to curb ever-rising emissions of climate-changing pollution, which scientists said last week have reached record levels of concentration in the atmosphere.

Seasoned nongovernment observers said the outcome of the conference, which ends Dec. 9, is among the most unpredictable since the annual all-nation meetings began following the conclusion in 1992 of the basic treaty on climate change.

“Everything seems to be fluid. Everything is in play,” said Tasneem Essop, of WWF International.

France24 Focus: UN climate summit vs US quest for oil

The main point of contention is whether industrial countries will extend their commitments to further reduce carbon emissions after their current commitments expire next year. Most wealthy countries have said their agreement is conditional on developing countries like China, India and Brazil accepting that they, too, must accept legally binding restrictions on their own emissions.

Zuma said Sudan’s drought is partly responsible for tribal wars there, and that drought and famine have driven people from their homes in Somalia. Floods along the South African coast have cost people their homes and jobs, he said.

“Change and solutions are always possible. In these talks, states, parties, will need to look beyond their national interests to find a solution for the common good and human benefit,” he said.

The U.N.’s top climate official, Christiana Figueres, said future commitments by industrial countries to slash greenhouse gas emissions is “the defining issue of this conference.” But she said that is linked to pledges that developing countries must make to join the fight against climate change.

She quoted anti-apartheid legend and former President Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

One of the greatest threats of global warming is to food supplies, which new studies by the United Nations and independent agencies show already are under stress.

In its first global assessment of the planet’s resources, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that farmers will have to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world’s expected 9 billion-strong population.

But most available farmland is already being farmed, and in ways that decrease productivity through practices that lead to soil erosion and wasting of water, the FAO said in a report released Monday in Rome.

Climate change compounded problems caused by poor farming practices, it found. Adjusting to a changing world will require $1 trillion in irrigation water management alone for developing countries by 2015, the FAO said.

The authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said changing weather patterns will make farming more unpredictable and make water supplies more unreliable. Global warming is increasing the frequency of droughts and floods, and could create a catastrophic rise of sea levels if mountain and Arctic glaciers continue to rapidly melt.

The international aid agency Oxfam also released a report Monday showing that extreme weather events are driving up food prices, and the world’s poorest peoples already spend 75 percent of their income on food.

In the last 18 months, Russia lost 13.3 million acres of crops, or about 17 percent of its production, due to a months-long heat wave. Drought in the Horn of Africa has killed 60 percent of Ethiopia’s cattle and 40 percent of its sheep. Floods in September have raised the price of rice by 25 percent in Thailand and 30 percent in Vietnam, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

 

Date created : 2011-11-28

  • ENVIRONMENT

    Oxfam calls for overhaul of 'broken food system'

    Read more

  • ENVIRONMENT

    As climate talks stall, Earth’s ‘carbon sponges’ choke

    Read more

COMMENT(S)