Angela Wiley, a student at Chatham Univ., and a recipient of a modest travel scholarship from the Allegheny Group, was among the Sierra Student Coalition delegates to the 17th annual Climate Change conference held in Durban, South Africa. For two weeks Angela was able to present a first-hand view of the grassroots activities at the conference. For Angela, this was an unforgettable experience.
In the last few hours of a chaotic extended session on Sunday, Dec. 11, the conferees finally managed to work out a deal that gives some degree of hope in a world divided into the European Union; the trio of China, India, and Brazil; the poor countries including those directly threatened by rising sea levels; and the United States with its Do Nothing Congress.
Among the achievements of this COP-17 Conference was a first -time commitment by China and India to limit their emissions from fossil fuels. In addition, the conferees agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol to the end of 2017. What kind of legally-binding action can be put in place beyond 2020 will be negotiated by all parties in the form of a Durban Platform for Enhanced Action before 2015.