It is the first time that China, India and the US, which alone account for almost half of the global carbon dioxide emissions, agreed on signing a treaty, but the specific measures are not defined yet. The summit’s parties neither decided on concrete emission reduction targets, nor could they agree on the treaty’s binding force. It thus remains questionable as to how China, India and the US will react to concrete and legally-binding emission reduction targets. From a scientific point of view, it is not acceptable, nor advisable, to wait another eight years until a global agreement finally becomes effective.
As a bridging period until 2020, negotiators agreed on the extension of the Kyoto-protocol until 2020. But since Russia, Canada and Japan no longer participate; the EU remains the only major emitter implementing Kyoto. Since the signing countries only account for 16 percent of global greenhouse emissions, the extension of the Kyoto protocol cannot be sufficient.
The parties also agreed on an outline for the Green Climate Fund, a long-term financing mechanism for climate mitigation and adaption in the developing countries but also in this regard the details remain unclear.
Although the politicians avoided a disaster in Durban, a lot of questions remain to be answered and it is highly questionable whether they still find an adequate solution for climate change.