The latest round of the United Nations Climate talks have begun in the Qatari today. The summit, featuring 1,700 participants from 191 countries, will last until the 7th of December.
The conference is the final chance to find a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally-binding international agreement on carbon emission, which runs out at the end of this year.
The two previous climate talks have been widely regarded as a failure, with little done to assist smaller nations more at risk of the damaging effects of climate change.
“The situation is very urgent … We can no longer say that climate change is tomorrow’s problem,” the head of World Resources, a Washington-based think-tank, Andrew Steer, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Central to the latest rounds of talks is the issue of “hot air” carbon permits. The term refers to the ability of wealthier nations to reuse any unused permits the following year, enabling them to offset any mandatory cuts in carbon emissions.
The talks in Doha have also come under some criticism for being held in one of the world’s least sustainable nations with an economy dependent on fossil fuels.
China is currently the worlds largest emitter, followed by the United States, India and then Russia.