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Global Warming-Dismal Future-Copenhagen Failure

On Saturday 19 Dec 2009, President Barack Obama showed very dismal future with regard to the deal reached with India, China, Brazil and South Africa to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It shows nothing but failure on any agreements reached.

“It is going to be very hard, and it’s going to take some time (to achieve a legally binding deal),” he said at the conclusion of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.

“We have come a long way, but we have much further to go.”

A method for verifying reductions in Carbon Dioxide and heat-trapping gases was reached by US, India, China, South Africa and Brazil. The agreement, will list the actions each country will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts.

G-8 countries earlier this year had set a mechanism for long-term emission cuts to help poor countries to prepare for climate change; the deal agreed in Copenhagen reiterates this goal.

Obama had talks with Indian Prime Minister, China, Brazil and South Africa and was successful in making them agree for the deal. The leaders had in a last ditch effort made a climb down from their strict postures and had long discussions on combating the climate change. Both Obama and Manmohan Singh rescheduled their departure timings and stayed back in Danish capital to felicitate the deal.

Obama showed not full satisfaction and said that there is a fundamental deadlock in perspectives, between big, industrially developed countries like the United States and poorer though sometimes large, developing nations.

Though for outside world the summit leaders’ showed of reaching something productive it was not convincing for Obama himself.

Earlier this week as the talks for a global climate change deal was poised to go down the wire, India had something to cheer as the second draft for an agreement incorporated a key demand of New Delhi, relating to emissions from deforestation and funding for mitigation projects.

A member of the Indian delegation noted that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has been included in the section that deals with mitigation actions by developing countries as well as for funding for REDD plus. Besides, several activities in REDD plus that India was keen on — reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks — have been included in the draft.

In the Copenhagen meeting missing was of talks on Rio and Kyoto commitments. There were other developing countries who condemned the Accord and developed countries expressing anguish because the Copenhagen COP merely “took note” of an accord produced by the so-called major economies — the United States, India, China, Brazil and South Africa.

The Copenhagen document had some paragraphs and words of the Rio principles and the commitment of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol was reiterated only to satisfy public opinion. It contains only a pious wish to contain the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, and take action to meet this objective. There may not follow any serious implementation of it.

Developed countries had committed to the goal of mobilising jointly USD 100 billion a year by 2020 as part of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, subject to ‘meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation’. For new and additional resources, developed countries will provide an amount of USD 30 billion for the period 2010-12.

The Copenhagen Accord is not welcomed by the developing world and some called is as Floppenhagen. Some countries accused the developing countries of having betrayed humanity. There was some hope since the negotiations are to continue for a year and a more precise agreement and legally binding commitments are likely to emerge.

It was rather shame on Indian part to act against humanity and disregard the feelings of millions of those people who were hell bound to see reduction in Green House Gas emissions. Indian leaders disappointed the developing world when it bailed out the United States and China, the highest emitters of greenhouse gases.

So people can judge themselves what is in store for them in the coming future. These meetings are just any eyewash to show to the world that these elected representatives are caring for this world and the earth when they really are not.

There was negativism in India before it went to Copenhagen. There was no any commitment on its part to really strive for reducing GAS emissions and on this count to hold meaningful and convincing discussions. There were no legally binding cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, no monitoring and no burying of Kyoto Protocol. And when it came under pressure to accept new obligations, it found common cause with the worst polluters in the world, the US and China, who were also under similar pressure and let down the other developing countries and left the conference declaring victory, not only for themselves but also for the so-called BASIC countries. They are considered as the representatives of their people in their country. Therefore, they will call it as their people’s victory. Moreover, the people will believe them and once again will vote them back to power to do the same thing. The same Gol mals.

Under the watchful eyes of other countries (who could do nothing), Obama of United States changed the course of the climate change debate to a new direction. Unlike in Rio and Kyoto, the United States was not left alone to defy the world. President Obama accomplished his three objectives of ‘mitigation, transparency and financing’ the way he wanted. India, China, Brazil and South Africa let the US off the hook.

It is said that India and China have accepted certain goals to mitigate carbon emissions and they will be challenged if they do not accomplish these goals. Who and how they will be challenged or punished?

As per the Accord, emerging economies should report every two years to the United Nations, which will be subject to ‘international consultation and analysis’, a euphemism for international monitoring and transparency. As the days goes by, this will become a forgotten entity.

See what the Indian Prime Minister said at his plenary speech.

“I oppose any dilution of the Convention signed in Rio, particularly the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To settle for something that would be seen as diminished expectations and diminished implementation would be the wrong message to emerge from this conference”, he said.

“Those worst affected by climate change are the least responsible for it. Whatever emerges from our negotiations must address this glaring injustice, injustice to countries of Africa, injustice to the Least Developed Countries, and injustice to the Small Developing States, whose survival as viable states is in jeopardy.”

A very big political talk and the thumping of desks from his chellas. Unfortunately, the very countries that the prime minister mentioned felt betrayed by the Copenhagen accord. The transparent and inclusive process that India had promised also did not materialise in Copenhagen.

The Accord made the United States a partner rather than a target in the global effort to safeguard the environment. Both United States and China escaped from condemnation morefully China which has been accused of large-scale arms and weapons sales to terrorists and rogue states.

USA and China had the last laugh and fooled the world, now they can continue destruction of this earth with no one questioning them. It was a secret deal between them planned one year before this Copenhagen meeting.

One thing that brought to the fore was the public awareness about the climate change and Global Warming. The leaders may not have done anything in Copenhagen, but back in their country people started already working themselves and devising plans to combat this climate change.

There were people seen cycling to their work leaving back their car. Media, blog and forum posting was agog with the news that people have became aware of this climate change and they were switching of their lights, they were not wasting water and doing all things that they could do to combat climate change.

Everyday actions like driving a car, flying and even using your computer consume energy and produce greenhouse gas emissions – such as carbon dioxide – which contribute to climate change. You can compensate for your unavoidable emissions by paying someone to make an equivalent greenhouse gas saving. This is called ‘carbon offsetting’.

First, you need to calculate the emissions you have produced. Then you buy the equivalent amount in ‘credits’ from emission reduction projects that have made a greenhouse gas saving. These projects may be in another part of the world to where you created the emissions.

However, it doesn’t matter where greenhouse gases are emitted in the world – the effect on climate change is the same. The Carbon Advice Group provides individuals, organisations and businesses a much-needed ability to accurately measure the size of their carbon footprint, deliver methods to reduce it as much as possible and then provide a simple, reliable, high quality mechanism to offset the carbon footprint that was left.

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