Not Just Hot Air
While the messy chaos of the Copenhagen climate change summit should not be repeated, its successes ought not to be denied
The Good News: The Copenhagen Climate Conference has provided a crucial forum for discussion and debate concentrating on the ‘how’ of climate change , and not just the ‘what’ of the science. Despite the ’emails debacle’ that could so easily have helped to derail the talks, the conference has proceded with minor administrative hiccups (the chair pulling out midway). China and United States are now at least talking, even if as a result of Obama’s off-script message! The world leaders now have a better understanding of what is needed and have they have got – now the trick will be how to get to the next step!
The Bad News: The conference had the entirely positive ending, with key ‘bridges’ – emissions cuts, monitoring of emissions and the legal nature of the deal – that must now be crossed!
How will these bridges be built?
Can we achieve this?
Can we afford NOT to?
What do you think?
The Copenhagen climate conference ended on Saturday without unanimous agreement as the world’s biggest economies backed a limited accord that leaders said would form the basis for a future deal to tackle global warming.
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, acknowledged that the outcome was “not everything we hoped for” but described it as an “essential beginning” as he brought a close to two weeks of fractious negotiations in the Danish capital.
The United Nations climate change summit ended last night without setting any emission reduction targets.
President Obama forged a non-binding agreement with his counterparts in China, India, Brazil and South Africa but it was unclear whether all 192 countries would accept the compromise text.
Mr Obama said that a “fundamental deadlock in perspectives” had overshadowed the negotiations. He described the deal as “meaningful” but admitted that it would not be enough to prevent global warming. “We have much further to go,” he said.
Despite two years of negotiations, the key sticking points — emissions cuts, monitoring of emissions and the legal nature of the deal — all re-emerged in the final hours.
The agreement merely repeated an aspiration to keep the global temperature increase to 2C without explaining how that would be achieved. The final text also failed to mention any deadline for turning it into a binding treaty.