Durban Outcome Significant But Insufficient

12 December 2011

Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament for Scotland has today (Monday) welcomed the outcome of the UN climate summit and the constructive role played by the EU, but has voiced concern that it falls short of what is necessary to prevent climate change.

The UN climate summit in Durban (COP17) ended yesterday with an agreement on a process for concluding a new international legal agreement by 2015 under the UNFCCC to be implemented from 2020.

Alyn said:

"While I welcome the outcome, it is with a heavy heart. I am proud of the part the EU has played but our fears have been realised; the agreements made have been insufficient.

"While the outcome of Durban has opened a door to a more effective international response to climate change, delaying comprehensive global climate action until after 2020 is clearly insufficient, given the urgent action scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

"The EU has shown leadership in these negotiations, proactively building alliances within the UNFCCC, but its strategy of pegging the ambition of its own climate action to that of the rest of the world has ultimately fallen short. The Kyoto Protocol remains in limbo and there is no guarantee of any further globally concerted climate action before 2020.


"It has become clear that we must not rely only on UN progress but continue to spur on climate action through other means. The EU has talked a lot about the gap between pledged climate actions and what is necessary to avoid dangerous climate change. It must now walk the talk and move to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020.


"Durban has been a step forward, but the step has been too small."