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Beyond COP-15: Why Climate Action Failed

12/28/09

With the end of the Conference, the entire world got busy trying to figure out how COP-15 fared and what the Post-mortem report looked like. It was almost a unanimous consensus, that Copenhagen, billed as the globe’s largest effort to combat climate change, ended in a complete disaster. No one was satisfied with the compromising and unambitious “accord” that was struck behind close doors by five of the largest nations in the world.

Climate Action Demonstration

The climate activists were unhappy off-course because the deal was not binding or ambitious and fell much shorter of what most people had expected.

The smaller and lesser developed nations were unhappy for the same reason too, but more so because prospects of international aid (read: large sums of unaccountable money) were dismissed at Copenhagen.

However, the crucial factor that no one seems to be discussing is – What next?

The failure of COP-15 has surely brought down expectations for the future and the world is busy debating if mankind is capable of solving this global threat in the first place. I feel its a good question, because if the answer is No, then we’re simply wasting time trying to please everybody.

What are the problems with reaching a global deal?

Well, there are many. Firstly, governments over the world are responsible for the consequences of any actions they take in the short run, but will not benefit from them in the long run. That is why governments around the world are afraid to undertake drastic measures that will harm their electoral popularity but will have benefits in the long run.

Also, the countries that are most responsible for climate change and therefore have the most action to take, are ironically least affected by it. The globe is experiencing its hottest decade in recent history, with the exception of North America.

A host of other reasons include lack of financial surplus this year owing to the global economic downturn, lack of political willness due to new administrations like the one lead by Obama and lack of global pressure by citizens and voters.

Whatever the case may be, the failure of COP-15 must serve as a stepping stone for future endeavours otherwise this situation may never find a legitimate solution.

There is a sincere hope that we must, as a specie, be able to resolve this global dilemna before it is too late.

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