In the end our lovely politicians just couldn’t do it. To many vested interests, to many cares about economic woes, to much hot air, too much posturing, too much talking, and now the promise of the UK’s Copenhagen climate change conference lies broken and discarded in the dust.
Those wise men and women (yes, I am a tad cynical today) did manage to come to some sort of vague agreement on committing to the broad ambition of keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius, but as there are no mechanisms in place to achieve carbon emission cuts, this is worthless: The ‘good news’: There is a promise to provide up to $30 billion to poorer nations to cope with climate change and a ‘goal’ of $100 billion per year for poorer nations to adapt to climate change and adopt clean energy technology: There is funding to enable forest nations protect trees from loggers and farmers; The provisions of the Kyoto Protocol are preserved. Now the ‘bad news’: There are no targets for greenhouse gas emissions; there is no legally binding treaty and no deadline for a legally binding treaty to cut carbon emissions: and there are no guarantees of where the climate change funding will come from. However it is hoped that a new meeting in Mexico in December 2010 will seal a legally binding treaty.
This is what John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, had to say and the end of the Conference: “Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with guilty men and women fleeing to the airport. It seems there are too few politicians in the world capable of looking beyond the horizon of their own narrow self interest, let alone caring much for the millions of people facing the threat of climate change”.