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COP-17

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Conference of the parties to be held in Durban, South Africa during from the 28th November to the 9th of December 2011. This is the fourth time that Africa hosts a major climate change related negotiation.

The '17' part of the name COP-17 refers to the fact that it is COP number 17.

The most important task of the Durban conference will be to secure a new binding global climate agreement. The Kyoto protocol, which is the only existing legally binding treaty, expires in 2012. The parties have been unable to reach a new agreement at the last few climate change summits, and few observers expect the Durban conference to produce a comprehensive legally binding international agreement.

Japan, Canada and Russia are firmly opposed to extending the Kyoto protocol because China, India and the United States are not part of it.

Running out of time

UN Climate Change chief Christiana Figueres have according to news reports acknowledged that time is running out, since an amendment to extend or replace the Kyoto Protocol require all countries to independently ratify it by the 31th December 2012 to prevent a regulatory gap.

Visit the official COP-17 website.