Copenhagen 2009: Does It Really Matters?

Source : https://dofollownet.com

November 30, 2009 - The future of mankind depends on the issue of the United Nation Climate Change Conference that will be held in Copenhagen from December 7 to December 18, affirms writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben, and many see this 12 days summit as a more important event than the 1945 Yalta conference.

Although most participants agree that the temperature in the lower layer of the atmosphere will increase by at least 2°C by 2050 with dramatic consequences, developing countries are coming to Copenhagen with their own exigencies and well decided to make their voices heard, which was not really the case during the 1997 Kyoto convention. Most developing countries consider the Kyoto protocol and the regulation on fossil fuel burning and greenhouse gases emissions as some kind of green protectionism and claim that industrialized countries developed themselves by burning coal and are now trying to prevent others from doing so.

Draft of the document on which participants will have to agree mentions a 0.7% of the GDP that should be collected and redristributed by the UN in order to help developing countries achieve the agreed emissions quotas.

It also mentions technology transfers from industrialized to developing countries. But the draf does not precisely name who will be the contributors and who will be the recipients of these helps. Many countries consider that China, as one of the biggest polluters would have to pay, while Chinese leaders are in fact asking for a financial help.

Actually, if China is responsible for 10% of the total CO2 emissions since 1950, behind the USA (26.5%) and the European Union (22.39%), its "per capita" emission is less than 10% of the USA or Canada figures, and may block any text asking for its financial contribution.

In these conditions, reaching an agreement in Copenhagen will be difficult if not impossible.

But does it really matter?

Developing countries are the most threatened regions and are already undergoing consequences of climate change.

China is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years and India suffers from a 35% rainfall deficit. They are highly aware of environmental problems and ready to make dramatic changes. The Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, is expected to announce a reduction in carbon emission of 40 to 45% by 2020 compared to 2005 level, while US president Barack Obama will come to Copenhagen with a 17% promise.

So even if commitment was not reached in Copenhagen, it will not be the end of the process as ambitious projects are arising across the world by countries that have not been waiting for an international treaty to take action on their own.

Politicians would like to wait for an international treaty. They can always hide behind it to enforce unpopular reforms and taxes, telling their electors that they had no other choice than to comply with international policies, and in the lack of treaty, they can always pretend that they can't act alone while the rest of the world does not play by the rules. But it does not work like that anymore: worldwide citizens demand immediate action, not another treaty or protocol that will be forgotten within months or years. And they will force their governments to act, even unilaterally if necessary, without waiting for their neighbor's commitment.

Interesting readings:

  • Denmark in climate deal warning
  • Running The Odds on Copenhagen
  • Industrialized Nations Unveil Plans to Rein in Emissions
  • Copenhagen: Too Hot to Handle
  • This time, Obama can succeed in Copenhagen
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Created by Keiros 48 weeks 1 day ago – Made popular 46 weeks 6 days ago
Category: Science & Nature   Tags:

I'm not at all a climate

Kevin 47 weeks 1 day 4 hours 9 min ago

I'm not at all a climate change denier, but I really wonder if there are not more urgent problems to address.

Could you tell me how many presidents or prime ministers attended the last World Summit on Food Security, held in Rome on last November?

The answer is none! While there are more that one billion hungry people in the world, fighting hunger does not get the tenth of the media coverage that global warming get.

Are international summits on water getting as much attention? No! But millions of people are dying TODAY (not in one hundred years) just because they don't have access to safe water.

It's for sure a good thing to get rid of fossile energies as soon as possible, but hunger, water-borne diseases or sea pollution are much more urgent problems to solve.

The right answer is : only one!

Keiros 46 weeks 6 days 21 hours 36 min ago

You should check your sources, Silvio Berlusconi, the current Italy Prime Minister attended the FAO Summit, but I guess just because it was held in Rome, in his own country.

But I agree with you that it is a shame that all the politicians and media are focusing on Copenhagen and don't seem to care much about these subjects (hunger and water).

One could argue that they are linked, that people are starving and that water resources are dwindling as a direct result of climate change, and that fighting against global warming will also solve these issues.

That maybe true...or that may not. These problems are very complicated and people like simple answers. Hunger existed before global warming and may have increased because of climate change affecting crops. But it may have also increased because of the rising prices of cereals due to increasing demand of bioethanol to replace fossil fuels.

About climate change, I've always been told that tropical rainforests were the main regulators of the rainfall cycle. The Indonesia and Borneo tropical rainforests are disappearing at a fast pace, and deforestation is now accelerating because many companies are cutting trees to grow palm trees...to produce, again, bioethanol. Disappearance of tropical rainforests may better explain the rainfall deficit in a large part of Asia (and maybe even in East Africa) than the widely accepted explanation of "global warming".