Guardian guide to the Durban deal

The news: Durban climate deal struck after tense all-night session

Two hours later the 16-day talks were effectively over, with a commitment by all countries to accept binding emission cuts by 2020. As part of the package of measures agreed, a new climate fund will be set up, carbon markets will be expanded and countries will be able to earn money by protecting forests.

Why it’s news: Why Durban is different to climate change agreements of the past (Q&A)

A last-minute compromise at Durban meant the new phase of negotiations about to start should be “a protocol, a legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force”. The latter is the weakest option, but according to the EU it will effectively mean countries are legally bound.

What it means: Climate deal: A guarantee our children will be worse off than us (at Damian Carrington’s Environment Blog)

Getting 194 nations to agree on anything with legal force, as happened in Durban, is an achievement, as is the rejection of the alluring calls to abandon the UN as the place to solve this global problem.

But the brutal truth is that our leaders lack the political will to do what is necessary. The delay in Durban means politicians have deepened our titanic environmental overdraft.


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