Doha climate talks limp forward in second week


Hope FM Radio, Doha, Qatar

As UN climate change talks come to a close this week in Doha, Qatar, nothing much has so far been achieved, many participants argue. There has been a feeling of frustration that the talks could end in anticlimax as they did at the Rio+20 summit earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro. However, there was good news from the United Kingdom, which announced here a pledge to contribute £1.8 billion over the next two years, if which with 50% will be dedicated to helping countries adapt to the impacts of a warming planet. The announcement set a constructive tone to the negotiations on finance in Doha. Other developed countries have been urged to start putting money on the table and commit to more so-called "fast track" funding.   The UK’s announcement contrasts with criticism of pledges by the United States, the world's biggest historical carbon polluter. The US has been criticized by developing countries and sympathetic NGOs as a hindrance in the climate negotiations. Early in the week, ministers and heads of delegations from a coalition of 43 countries highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change released a statement saying that since last year's climate talks in Durban, South Africa, many of the countries have endured numerous extreme, and in some cases deadly, weather events, such as prolonged droughts, heat waves, floods and super storms. The coalition added that limiting an average global temperature rise of 2 degrees celsius -- the level at which the most dire impacts of climate change could be avoided -- remained technically and economically feasible but could only be achieved with political ambition backed by rapid action. This story was broadcast on Hope FM Radio in Nairobi, Kenya.