Quote of the Day: the Durban Climate Agreement

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From Kate Sheppard, explaining how the Durban climate conference managed to avoid catastrophe and forge a last-minute agreement:

In the end, it came down to a single turn of phrase: changing “legal outcome” in the earlier draft to “an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties.”

Whatever it takes, I guess. In the end, the Durbanites agreed to “launch a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force.” So that’s that. A process will be started. The outcome will be a protocol, or maybe a legal instrument, or maybe an agreed outcome with legal force. Hopefully this outcome will happen by 2015. And then everyone will sign on by 2020.

This doesn’t strike me as an especially cheering result, but, as usual, it’s better than a complete meltdown, I suppose. For more details, Michael Levi has a fairly discouraging take here (“It is distressing to see how much attention has become devoted to form rather than function”) while David Roberts has a slightly more upbeat take here (the agreement may be mostly symbolic, but it’s also “a marker and a serious concession”).

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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