climate-change-conference-in-durban.jpgThe first week of the climate change talks in Durban has been described as constructive and successful, with most countries said to be indicating that they are seriously considering an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

When the COP 17 opened in Durban last week, the main agenda at stake was the survival or death of the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

For pessimists, the Kyoto Protocol already had one foot in the grave.

However, a week later chances are brighter that the Kyoto Protocol will be extended as there appears to be consensus by most nations to extend it. This was revealed by COP 17 President and South Africa’s International Relations Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana Mashabane as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretary General, Ms Christiana Figueres.

Mrs Nkoana Mashabane said from the information they are receiving from the negotiators, most nations are seriously considering ratifying an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, adding that as of now the “How” part of the extension is what the negotiators are working on.

On Japan and Canada’s indication that they are not in favour of extending the Kyoto Protocol, Ms Mashabane said the two nations will not be a stumbling block as others are determined.

UNFCCC Secretary General, Ms Christiana Figueres said what is important to note is the fact that China, which is one of the biggest emitters is in favour of the extension.

She said China has shown its commitment to the global citizenry and urged other stubborn nations to take a cue from the rising economic giant.

Figueres said from last week’s negotiations, positive feedback on the issue of green fund and adaptation is said to be coming in, with negotiators said to be consenting.

The first week of the climate change talks were characterised by plenary sessions, meetings as well as discussions which to the ordinary people and civic society were said to be slow. The indications of a lifeline to the Kyoto Protocol are evidence of the long sessions that negotiators had to accustom themselves to.

The second and final week of the talks is going to see about 20 heads of state and 123 ministers descending on Durban to append their signatures on the agreed areas and to conclude the ambitious climate change talks.