20 December 2009

the big Cop out

I have purposely avoided writing about the Copenhagen conference because I decided to keep my sanity. Inter-governmental negotiations are almost always a waste of time and energy; however, as the world doesn't have a better method, we trudge on with it. Disappointments at Copenhagen have been a long time coming and reaching a decision on the last night of the debacle is hardly the way to go about it.

So far my impression on Copenhagen is the following: The Russians are defunct, Obama and his Nobel - big whoop! Brown is going, "Golly, this isn't working". China won't jump on the boat without US support, India won't do it without China. Brazil keeps topping polls as the country most concerned about climate change. The EU of course are the under-dog good guys. Japan is showing signs of commitment but who cares because they are so small. Hilary Clinton says on the last day after an all-nighter that progress is being made. Basically they've put out 46,200 tonnes of CO2 for this all-round joke of a meet and greet.

Copenhagen represents a classical geopolitical dead-lock, a socio-ecological conundrum. The last minute deal called the 'Copenhagen Accord' brokered by Barack Obama with China, India, Brazil and South Africa did not receive universal support from the 193 countries participating. The accord, which gutted a comprehensive agreement to pay poor countries to protect their forests, since the mass cutting of trees accounts for 20% of global emissions, is not binding and does not have a set date for capping carbon emissions. Sudan's chief negotiator, compared it to the Holocaust, while Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said that the world is smelling of sulphur and referred to Obama as Satan.

Ian Fry of Tuvalu, the drowning island-nation that has become the poster country for the perils of rising sea levels, likened the accord to "being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our people and our future".

Copenhagen in short, has become a playground of bullies calling each other names, refusing to play nice, not even acknowledging the bigger picture. Leaders of the world, grow up!

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