In Depth: Was Durban a climate breakthrough or disaster?

Leading up to 31 October 2011, communities across Victoria and other states of Australia will be passing a human sized earth globe from suburb to suburb and town to town until it reaches Canberra. This is the Earth Relay.  The hope is that the relay will generate media and community attention along its passage to parliament and the Earth Dome will act as a symbol of hope and optimism for a cleaner, safer world.Climate Action Moreland hosted a leg of the Earth Relay on Saturday 8 October 2011 from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm outside the Brunswick Mechanics Institute, corner of Glenlyon Road and Sydney Road, Brunswick.  Members of Climate Action Moreland sent a message about how we think the carbon price can be improved, particularly increasing the 5% target.Once the legislation is passed through Federal parliament in Canberra, the Earth Dome will be packed up and shipped to Durban for the Durban Conference of the Parties climate negotiations - COP17 - to be held in South Africa from 28 November - 9 December 2011, and with it will go our pride that finally Australia is acting on climate change and our hope that this will help deliver progress on climate change on the international stage.

Those prone to optimism hail the outcome in Durban as a long-overdue breakthrough for the torturous UN climate talks.

Those who trade in cynicism condemn the deal, claiming it is not worth the paper it was printed on in terms of stemming the onset of cataclysmic climate change.

Paradoxically, both camps are correct.

Good news first: The “ Durban platform”, clinched nearly 30 hours after the two-week negotiations were scheduled to draw to a close, contains several elements that can accurately be described as game-changers for the UN climate process – and hold huge potential for renewables.

Seemingly to their own surprise, China, the US and India all agreed to take on Log in to read complete article.

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