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Chilling Copenhagen Misdeal

Published 27th October 2010 - 0 comments - 707 views -

SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (MindaNews/21 December) -- All expectations frozen in pre-winter snow and the threat of runaway climate change have become all the more a clear and present danger. 

The aftermath of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit left the hand of a Venezuelan representative bloodied, Sudan shouting holocaust, and island and low-lying nations given a choice to either swim or sink. It also exposed environmentalists throughout the world in the cold, frantically looking for words to describe the monumental failure.

The US, historically the biggest carbon gas emitter due to its lifestyle addicted to fossil fuel and now leading gas muffler China were seen as the biggest players among equals in the Bella Center. 

Even the well-loved US President Barack Obama was reduced into a knee-bending head of state whose eloquent oratories were reduced to glib talk. Joss Garman, Planet Stupid co-founder writing for the UK-based the Independent said: “The most progressive US president in a generation comes to the most important international meeting since the Second World War and delivers a speech so devoid of substance that he might as well have made it on speaker-phone from a beach in Hawaii.” 

China’s take it or leave it stance in Copenhagen drew a lot of grudging respect. Already the world’s biggest emitter of climate changing carbon dioxide, China has schemingly packaged itself as a developing country and refused to be lumped among the self-confessed climate criminals composed of the world’s developed countries, the US, UK, Europe, Japan and Australia. 

As the talks were headed for collapse in the second week of negotiations, China announced it was no longer expecting anything from Copenhagen especially from the expected funding for climate change mitigation from the climate criminals. It need not do so because, despite its claim of being a developing country and as part of the group of 77 developing countries or G77+1 (China), it is the newest indictee in the climate criminal and carbon addict list. 

Putting on a brave face and ultra-nationalism that would make Mao Zedong look like a reactionary, China vehemently refused external monitoring of its greenhouse gas emissions, arguing that such would be a violation of its sovereignty. 

Forget its commitment to help raise the 100-billion dollar climate fund starting in 2020, it would be business as usual for the US. Obama is well loved in the world but he is still president of the USA which is still reeling from economic recession and faces stiff battles in his reforms, Carbon cuts included, from a largely conservative Congress. 

Europe, although on guilt-tripping is so politically weak, but may prove to be the only worthy ally in the ongoing climate change battles. 

The Copenhagen summit was expected to forge a new and effective global deal to mitigate climate change impacts. Salvage whatever is operational in the ineffective 1997 Kyoto Protocol and force a binding agreement on 1) putting a cap on average global temperature increase by 2020 through drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emission; and 2) having the world’s gas guzzlers blamed for causing climate change fund climate change mitigation in developing countries. 

Apologists of the deal, including the government of archipelagic and climate change vulnerable Philippines, said that the Copenhagen deal contained the two most important objectives of the meeting. 

Yeah right, but talk is cheap. How temperature rise is averted so that island and low-lying nations will not be reduced to choosing between swimming or sinking and throwing the already half-cooked Africa into the frying pan is the question. 

Without a binding agreement on how to reduce carbon gas emission, the Copenhagen agreement is nothing but a piece of paper, soon to be put in the archives and most part of the world in the dustbins of history waiting to be swept away by rampaging storms. 

A business as usual world is so chaotic to even imagine. A business as usual world would be about the poor billions of the world, too penniless to start with to pay for the climate crimes of the rich with their lives. 

With some hopes still alive with the continuing negotiations in the next Conference of Parties in Mexico in 2010, the war of attrition had just been heated. 

It is hoped that climate science and the common good of the world’s majority will finally prevail.

It is hoped that something good will come out of the mea culpaof the developed countries to climate change. 

High expectations were heaved on Copenhagen after the Bali Conference of Parties in 2006 as the turning point in the global battle against climate change. It was expected to usher in a successor of the largely ineffective Kyoto Protocol. But it turned out to be a Shakespearian tragedy so full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Category: Climate Politics, | Tags:


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