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Working together

12 Dec 2011, 00:00 UTC
Working together
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[[IMAGE||Erika Podest Original.jpg||right||70||Erika Podest|| ||0||0]]

By Dr. Erika Podest,
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
From the UN conference on climate change, Durban, South Africa

The second week of the United Nations conference on climate change, COP17, is focused mostly on negotiating how solutions to climate change will be implemented. The first week (last week) was taken up with technical meetings and position papers.

I arrived early on Monday morning and am impressed by the rivers of people lining up to enter the conference. As I look around, I see people young and old from all races and cultures. Every country on Earth is represented here and I hear that around 15,000 people are attending. It seems like everyone that is related to climate change is here. An Earth scientist’s treasure trove of contacts!

The goal of COP17 is commitments. Commitments to policy action. Countries need to ensure that they can follow through with previous commitments on agreements by implementing actions at home. It is fitting that COP17 is being hosted in Africa since the continent is expected to experience the impact of climate change much more severely than other regions around the world. In addition, the African population is less prepared ...

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