The 17th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change wrapped up in Durban, South Africa over the weekend. Not surprisingly, there was not much great news. Yes, the Kyoto Protocol was extended beyond 2012 and there is a pledge to create a $100 billion climate fund to help developing nations cope with the impacts of global warming and to move to clean energy. But there were noticeably no commitments from the major greenhouse gas polluters, like the U.S., China, India and Brazil, about actual carbon reductions. China, which is now the largest carbon emitter in the world, still insists that it be classified as a developing nation, exempting it from any responsibility to cut its emissions. There remains the goal of stopping global warming from going beyond 2 degrees Celsius and thinking about that $100 billion dollar fund, I can’t help but wonder if the best use of that money wouldn’t be investing it in renewable energy technology that could lessen the developed world’s dependence on fossil fuels, which would ultimately have a larger impact on the CO2 emissions that are hurting the developing world.
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