Saturday, 19 December 2009
The end of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen has ended in disappointment, if not disaster. There's no legally binding agreement and no agreement as to which countries should cut what levels of greenhouse gases.
Leaders of many non-industrialised countries have reacted with anger to the private agreement signed by the heads of some of the world's richest and biggest emitting countries. It's been widely acknowleded that what looks like an accidental deal by the USA, China, India, Brasil and South Africa goes no-where near far enough. So what happens now?
The climate science tells us that we have to shift very quickly if we are to avoid irreversible climate change. Parts of Africa are already turning to desert. People in the UK are at greater risk of flooding. Some islands face disappearing under water. The anger from the leaders of those countries who are already dealing with the consequences of climate change is perfectly understandable. They've been unable to have a say, yet they can see and feel the effects of the richest countries carrying on emitting as we are. This can't be the end of these talks. Failure to reach agreement is not an option.