UN climate conference process in Durban

The tug of war is about to begin anew in Durban South Africa where politicians, diplomats, advisors and scientists are gathered for a new round of climate change talks. And as they begin, a Canadian investigative journalist poking around behind the scenes argues that our country and other western nations still think they can beat the science. He calls that failed politics.



Part Two of The Current

UN climate conference process in Durban - William Marsden

Each year when the world's nations get together to discuss global warming, Canada takes some heat. For the past several years, it's won the so-called Fossil of the Year for what is perceived to be a commitment to the oil industry at the expense of the climate.

Representatives from nearly 200 nations have arrived in Durban, South Africa for the 17th Conference on climate change. The chief economist with the International Energy Agency says to avoid catastrophe, an international agreement needs to be in place by 2017. But many developed nations now say they will commit to an operational deal by 2020 at the earliest. The Kyoto protocol could be extended. It requires wealthy countries to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. But Canada has shown no interest in seeing that happen.

William Marsden has closely probed the last few rounds of UN climate talks, and he's been alarmed and deeply dismayed by what he's observed. He's an award-winning author and investigative reporter with the Montreal Gazette, and his new book is called Fools Rule: Inside the Failed Politics of Climate Change. William Marsden joined us from our Montreal studio.

UN climate conference process in Durban

The world's most vulnerable countries look at the lack of progress with desperation. Some African countries are losing their ability to feed themselves as drought shrivels their crops. People in island states like the Maldives say they are watching their countries literally disappear under rising water.

Mark Lynas is the climate change advisor to Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed, and he's also the author of The God Species: How The Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans. Mark Lynas joined us from Oxford, England.

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