Don’t Expect a Global Treaty on Climate Change This Year
Well, it seems one of our worst environment fears has been confirmed. A climate change treaty will most likely not happen this year.
According to UN climate chief, Yvo de Boer, there is not enough time to recover from December’s disappointing summit. He believes more time is needed to establish a framework, as well as financial and climate change aid that is capable of convincing developing countries to even support a deal. He also noted that the focus should shift towards reaching an agreement by next year’s South Africa summit; or at the very least, before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
De Boer announced last week that he is resigning July 1st. This announcement comes at a critical time when time and options are running out. However, he assured people that his decision had nothing to do with the COP-15 failure. He did pass on one interesting piece of advice:
“I think my message would be that you can achieve much more in life with carrots than with sticks.”
This fall, more than 190 nations will reconvene in Cancun, Mexico, to forget a global treaty—or at least make another futile attempt in doing so. Unfortunately, rich and developing nations need to get over their useless bickering first. That is one main factor that caused COP-15 to be the disaster that it was. And we all know how stubborn governments can be.
Fortunately, De Boer had a bit more to say on matters:
“The first priority is to rebuild confidence and trust in the process.” … “There are incentives that will allow them [developing countries] to act on climate change , but also meet national economic development goals. If you can’t show that there are real advantages, then it will never happen.”
I’m afraid he’s right on that last statement. At this point, I will be surprised if the governments ever agree on another global climate change treaty—I certainly don’t see it happening before 2012 at the rate their going. Yes, it would be nice if it happened, but the prospects seem rather bleak at this point. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a matter we—as citizens of this planet—need to take into our own hands. We need to do the recycling. We need to protect the animals and trees. We need to come up with the technology and creative inventions that will lower our carbon footprints. The world governments obviously are not doing it for us and it’s high time we start doing more of these things for ourselves.
By Heidi Marshall