December 21, 2009

Copenhagen Failure, Whom to Blame?

The failure at Copenhagen as become a common news all over the world, not knowing whom to blame. As I searched through Google News, after searching the keywords "copenhagen failure" it showed me dozens of results in the page. All linked from BBC to The Daily Green to Gozo News. But all of them has similar titles, questioning the same that BBC's put as the headline, What did the Copenhagen climate summit achieve?
My question, the same. What did it actually do? How much time did it take to just go underway with a deal that would bring climate change down? It is not a political issue at all but a scientific issue, and has any idea of the science been put into action? Has their warning from the scientist come into play or is it still going on "plain and simple?"
Yes, one famous German philosopher might have said, "from chaos comes order" but this was not even chaos but disagreement. They said, it was a decision "to take note of" and what do we note? Just the blank piece of paper and that's all. Yes it was something as BBC puts it, bringing all these national leaders into a great conference, to just talk.

One note that the BBC puts on are the points that they made on the accomplishments:
  • With 110 world leaders present
    and a single issue on the agenda, there has never been a meeting like
    this. The countries that brokered the text, the US, China, India, South
    Africa, Brazil and the EU, also reflects a world in which the balance
    of power has significantly changed in the last 20 years.
  • At a
    fundamental level, the conference redefined the debate between
    countries in terms of awareness of climate science and support for
    action. There is no longer any question that climate change is central
    to the political thinking of every country on the planet.
  • Public
    awareness has also massively increased. The vast campaigns run around
    the world in the run-up to Copenhagen by governments, NGOs and business
    and the media coverage of the issue and the summit have made addressing
    climate change widely understood and discussed from the pubs of rural
    England to the bars of Beijing.
  • The other very important
    change is that green growth is now the prevailing economic model of our
    time. The idea that addressing climate change is bad for business was
    buried at Copenhagen. Countries from both developed and developing
    worlds have announced low-carbon economic plans and are moving forward.
And what did it not change? Well, that might as well be a longer list.

  • That combination of political will, economic direction and public pressure was not enough to overcome the concerns over sovereignty that many countries have in the context of international law. The final decision reflects the fact that many countries only want to be answerable to themselves. They will co-operate, but not under the threat of legal sanction.
  • There is no quantified aggregate target for emissions reduction such as the 50% by 2050 that was in early drafts - as it stands, targets are yet to be announced and they may be at the low end of what was promised, locking in ever greater emissions.
  • The reference to transparency in the text is significant as it will mean that for the first time actions by countries can be assessed globally, but there is no verification of the actions undertaken in the developing world unless they are paid for by the developed world.
  • Also, there is very little detail on any of the elements it does mention.
The Accord as they call it does not refer to the limit that they put on global warming of 2 degrees C for the well developed nations (I just hope to see that happen :P) and the world's limit to 3 degrees C (funny again).

Information mostly from: BBC

Picture credit: keepbanderabeautiful.org
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