On December 18 after a day of frantic negotiations between heads of state, it was announced that a "meaningful agreement" had been reached between the United States, China, India, South Africa, and Brazil. The use of "meaningful" was viewed as being political spin by an editorial in The Guardian. An unnamed US government official was reported as stating that the deal was a "historic step forward" but was not enough to prevent dangerous climate change in the future. However, the BBC's environment correspondent stated: "While the White House was announcing the agreement, many other – perhaps most other – delegations had not even seen it. A comment from a UK official suggested the text was not yet final and the Bolivian delegation has already complained about the way it was reached – 'anti-democratic, anti-transparent and unacceptable'. With no firm target for limiting the global temperature rise, no commitment to a legal treaty and no target year for peaking emissions, countries most vulnerable to climate impacts have not got the deal they wanted."
Early on Saturday 19 December, delegates approved a motion to "take note of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009". However it was reported that it was not yet clear whether the motion was unanimous, or what its legal implications are. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the US-backed climate deal as an "essential beginning". It was unclear whether all 192 countries in attendance would also adopt the deal. The so-called Copenhagen Accord recognises the scientific case for keeping temperature rises below 2°C, but does not contain commitments for reduced emissions that would be necessary to achieve that aim. One part of the agreement pledges US$ 30 billion to the developing world over the next three years, rising to US$ 100 billion per year by 2020, to help poor countries adapt to climate change. Earlier proposals, that would have aimed to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C and cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 were dropped. An agreement was also reached that would set up a deal to reduce deforestation in return for cash from developed countries. The agreement made was non-binding but U.S. President Obama said that countries could show the world their achievements. He said that if they had waited for a binding agreement, no progress would have been made.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Its been a bit disappointing to me to see that there has not been much of a buzz around the Christian literature that I read, no real mention of the environmental efforts at Copenhagen. Or any Christian lobbying regarding the issues.
Politically it was also pretty disappointing.
I think our government went in really wanting to make a change but that didn't happen.
The Australian opposition just looked on trying to score political points with 'I told you so' attitude. Especially after the leadership spill.
The Australian Greens just winged saying it was not enough and a failure.
I can always remember at school during a religious education the discussion came up, 'How will the earth end? The teacher was pointing towards some sort of Spiritual Armageddon. One smart lad said the world would end with a nuclear war... I thought this was the most insightful (It was still during the cold war). But I realize now it will most probably be due to our environmental negligence.
Anyway, I've found the good old wikipedia the best for news on Copenhagan. No real spin, and just trying to report what is really happening. Here is what I think is a good summary::