Falling Short in Copenhagen

In Economics, Politics on December 20, 2009 at 12:27

World leaders failed to meet global expectations for a widely-accepted, legally-binding deal that would set a clear direction about effectively tackling climate change. It seems to me that President Obama pushed for this last minute deal mostly to preserve his reputation and maintain the political pretences. From his own words one deduces that the only element that gives meaning to this deal is that it’s better than no deal. Well, that’s certainly not that way to move  forward, let alone when we need to move quickly.

The accord the leaders of USA, China, India, Brazil and South Africa agreed upon is not legally binding and enforces no penalties in case of not meeting its terms. In short, in the accord, leaders recognise the scientific view temperature increase should be held below 2 C. This, however, makes no implications about the C02 emissions levels, which has been left for countries to decide until February the 1st next year.

What is more, the deal promises $30 bn to developing countries until 2012, and rich countries pledge to provide poor nations with $100 bn a year by 2020 to help them compensate for the impact of climate change on their economies.

The last and most efficient part of the accord in my opinion is that all countries will become subject to regular scrutiny on the levels of their CO2 emissions, hence, increasing transparency and setting the foundations for a more honest and unambiguous dialogue between high polluter nations.

The deal fails to convince the global community about the decisiveness and willingness of the targeted nations to compromise. Throughout the talks, China demonstrated a rather selfish attitude with strong lack of environmental sensitivity. Unfortunately, the Copenhagen summit was a missed chance, and world leaders know that, irrespectively of what they might be saying.

by the Self-Seeker

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