The last conference of the Parties that took place in Durban in 2011 has put climate negotiations at the crossroads again. The decisions taken at Cancun in 2010 supported a bottom-up approach where countries agreed to take on voluntary emission reduction commitments that were not legally binding.

A report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says global CO2 emissions have increased 3.0 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010.

The question ‘who is responsible for climate change?’ lies at the heart of the politics of negotiations related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Following the failure of the 15th Conference of Parties (CoP 15) at Copenhagen to deliver a fair, equitable, ambitious and binding treaty needed to protect the climate, not much was expected out of CoP 16 at Cancun, Mexico.

On the night of December 10, 2010 Patricia Espinosa shed a tear and received a standing ovation. The foreign secretary of Mexico and president of the 16th Conference of Parties (CoP) on Climate Change held in Cancun had just read out her speech urging all negotiating parties to accept a draft agreement anchored by her country.

A report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says global emissions have increased 5.8 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009.

As per World Resources Institute’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) version 7.0, USA has less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for more than 20 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions in 2006. India, with almost 17 per cent of global population, accounts for less than 5 per cent of the emissions.

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