Time is running out for conclusions to be reached at the 17th UN Climate Change conference in Durban.
As it is past its deadline many ministers have already returned home, meaning it could be next year before a decision is made, and those who are staying are exhausted after two weeks of all day discussions.
The European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard says they should still persevere:
“We think it is important not give up now, we have gone a long way here, it’s really, really, really a pity if we lose that due to procedures now.” She said.
Environmental activists have attended the conference in force. They are frustrated at the slow speed of the organisation, and fear the Kyoto protocol – which is the only global pact that enforces carbon cuts – will expire at the end of the year with no successor treaty in place.The United Nations points out that it is not only polar bears which are in danger from melting ice caps. Global warming affects ecosystems across the world. A new UN study released at the time of the conference, warns that up to a third of all animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to climate change.