Emission: Very, Very Possible
After two days and a night of negotiations at a climate change conference in New Delhi, India, developing countries left with a victory on Friday: The final wording of the main document coming out the meeting did not require the countries to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions at any point in the future. In the next decade, the emissions of developing countries are expected to pass those of the developed world; as a result, the European Union had been pushing countries like China, Mexico, and India to promise to curb their emissions at some point down the road. For now, though, developing countries remain exempted from such cuts. Some experts say that even if all emissions were stopped today, the volume of existing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would cause disruptive sea-level rises and extreme weather patterns. To the disappointment of enviros but the glee of industry backers, however, much of the discussion at the conference in New Delhi focused on adapting to the impacts of climate change, rather than on preventing warming from occurring in the first place.