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.
- 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