Home' Nova West : February 2010 Contents OUR EARTH
If the growing number of reports about
rising global temperatures is right, we
live in dangerous times, as dark as any
threat we felt during the Cold War. But
in the darkest moments of the 1950s and
1960s, it seemed to be moments of trust
and goodwill, not fear and blame, which
helped us out of that thermonuclear mess.
So, too, trust and goodwill may take us
away from last December's climate-lite
Copenhagen debacle to a genuine path of
sustainability, giving true accountability and
But we will need to call a spade a spade.
Copenhagen failed, when much more was
needed. There were no legallybinding targets.
At first it looked like Britain and United States
had ducked their responsibilities, selfishly
exposing developing countries to disaster.
But then Mark Lynas, climate author and
Maldives delegate in the room, published
his eyewitness account, noticed around the
world, arguing China masterfully sabotaged
the whole process. Lynas cited, for example,
how China's representative insisted the
promise by industrialised countries to cut
emissions 80% by 2050 should be removed
from the agreement. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel was confounded why she
couldn't even mention her own country's
targets; Australian PM Kevin Rudd banged on
his microphone. But China insisted; Merkel
relented; and the backroom meetings and
the absence of targets and accountability
became the glaring flaw in the accord.
The dilemma has been developing
countries blaming industrialised nations'
prodigious carbon pollution over the last
200 years; and developed countries warning
of the dire effects of Chinese and Indian
development, if they follow the same path.
This time round, China effectively stitched
up Obama and rich countries to look like
the climate perpetrators, while avoiding any
targets or accountability themselves. The
plot to undermine a climate treaty thickens.
Yet it is difficult to reduce the failure of
Copenhagen to particular countries.
After the failure of Copenhagen, awareness of our
global "oneness" has never been more important,
says Adrian Glamorgan.
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2010
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