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The talks are over and Connie Hedegaard and Cristina Figueres are expressing satisfaction with COP18 for "crossing the bridge from the old climate system to a new one" and applauding the adoption of the second phase of Kyoto.

But to hear the real story of Qatar, let's listen to  a short interview with Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo:

As proposed in Durban, Qatar did succeed in forging agreement among the delegates to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which moves the world towards a 2015 contract to become operational in 2020. No decisions were reached on emission targets.

Once again, the US stands firm in its opposition to some of the text which and reserves the right to opt out in the future.

Key issues on finance and climate adaptation, issues which are of immediate importantce to least developed countries and  small island states are once again left on the road to be included in a new framework which will be finalized in three years from now.

As BBC's Roger Harrabin reports:

The big players, the US, EU and China accepted the agreement with varying degrees of reservation. But the representative for the small island states at severe risk from climate change was vociferous.

"We see the package before us as deeply deficient in mitigation (carbon cuts) and finance. It's likely to lock us on the trajectory to a 3,4,5C rise in global temperatures, even though we agreed to keep the global average temperature rise of 1.5C to ensure survival of all islands," he said.

"There is no new finance (for adapting to climate change and getting clean energy) - only promises that something might materialise in the future. Those who are obstructive need to talk not about how their people will live, but whether our people will live."

Referring to Doha's conclusion as Qatar-strophe,  Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins blames the political will of wealthy nations whose short-term interests continue to prevent any meaningful outcomes in global negotiations.
"Rarely has so little been achieved by so many powerful people gathered together in one place - the failure to agree any meaningful international action to slash emissions leaves the world teetering on the edge of catastrophic climate change.


"Climate change is already happening and, if left unchecked, will cause economic mayhem that will dwarf our current financial difficulties."

"It is not the process [that is dysfunctional]. The process is fine. If you look now at the past 20 years, what has delivered more climate action? This process has delivered more than anything else .... Countries come here and this process tries to find what common political will exists and it captures it. But if the political will is low, then what it can capture is what exists."

- Wael Hmaidan, from Climate Action Network International

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and Deborah Phelan.

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