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Talks agree eight-year extension to protocol

* Puts off decision on increasing aid to 2013

* No major emissions goals have been set at Doha talks

By Alister Doyle and Barbara Lewis

DOHA, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Almost 200 nations extended on Saturday a weakened U.N. plan for fighting global warming until 2020, averting a new setback to two decades of U.N. efforts that have failed to halt rising world greenhouse gas emissions.

The eight-year extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 keeps it alive as the sole legally binding plan for combating global warming. But it was sapped by the withdrawal of Russia, Japan and Canada, so its signatories now account for only 15 percent of global greenhouse emisions.

Too depressed to write about this massive failure.  We are on our own.

Update from John Crapper in comments:

I would say I'm disappointed but I'm really (2+ / 0-)

not because the results I expected actually were realized.  The failure of almost 200 nations trying to come to consensus on an issue as difficult to deal with as global climate change should not surprise anybody.  Never fear - nature will not let the issue go away and self preservation is one hell of a motivator.  Comfortable politicians in suits who have their own national vested interests to uphold and protect could not be expected to succeed.  That is not how this fight will be won!  Do the Math - 200 nations agreeing to take coordinated action - never happen.  Kingpin nations (like Germany) are emerging as role models.  We need to work on making the U.S. one too.  If we can succeed in doing this the ripple effects throughout the world will be dramatic.  Those of us who care about this issue must not get discouraged.

Update from Meteor Blades in comments: Agreed wholeheartedly. Everybody who was... (1+ / 0-)

...being realistic about this went into it with low expectations and Doha lived up to them. It's depressing, to be sure, but we should not let despair overwhelm us and put us into the camp of the eat-and-drink-and-be-merry-for-tomorrow-we-die crowd by assuming there is nothing we can do now. That feeds the fossil fuel industry's desire to keep drilling and digging and burning.

Bill McKibben has a good activist approach going under way and there are others as well. This is the fight of our era, and we should not, cannot, surrender if we care about our children and theirs.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks.

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