Cancun Modest Deal

Global warming and climate change are both short-term and long-term problems, depending on where you live. I am glad that the Cancun Climate Change Conference ended last week with a compromised agreement. But it is far short of global expectations. It did not get, for instance, China and United States to agree on any target to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide or other green house gases that caused global warming. Both countries are the world’s largest emitters of heat-trapping gases and environmental pollution. The final agreement at Cancun, Mexico, did not include mechanism with a strong binding commitment for action to protect world population from disasters that caused by climate change. The text only say that deeper cut in carbon emission is needed, which we all know that since the Bali Road Map and the Copenhagen Accord. It is abundantly clear to me that the rich industrialized countries do not want to seek a real solution to the global warming problem through multilateral negotiation route. They wanted to trim their emissions in their own way based on their own national interest, and not on a common survival of humankind. At Cancun, the 190 participated governments only agreed that having low-carbpn development plans and strategies are important. They promised to assess and produce a yearly report on their inventory to the world community. And they would work together in order to stay below a two degree temperature rise, with a clear time table set for review. Rich countries agreed on the creation of a new Climate Fund of $100 billion a year by 2020 to protect poor countries against climate change impact, and to help them with low-carbon development. I am sure that this promise of more funds will help island countries such as Maldives, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu. But many island countries already have made an evacuation plan to move their entire population out to other high lying countries because of salt water intrusion and rising sea level. This year, registered as the hottest summer in many countries, the people already had to endure hardship to cope with unusual floods and forest fires. They were struggling to survive mostly by themselves. It is great that the governments agreed to launch concrete action to preserve our world forest, but I expect more commitment to act from them because we are running out of time to safe our world from climate change catastrophe. It is imperative for our leaders to move beyond boundaries of short-terms interest. A decisive action has to be taken right now on global emissions of greenhouse gases, which the climate scientists warned us, need to peak within the next decade and then decrease.

Leave a comment

Your comment