Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Copenhagen Climate Conference: An Environmental New Deal?

As the final make-or-break deal on establishing climate change mitigation treaties, will the world dealers finally chose the environment over easy but carbon intensive corporate profits?

By: Ringo Bones

Unlike the end of Communism in Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, which inspired Francis Fukuyama to write The End of History. When it comes to curbing our global industry’s output of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, environmentalism seems to have been left by the curbside in comparison to other movements aimed to improve civil liberties around the world. But compared to the excesses of Marxist-Leninist Socialism – where anyone could have just been easily imprisoned if he or she voiced out that this is not what Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels intended socialism to be. Environmentalism seems to have been trampled underfoot for over 30 years or so by that supposed bastion of democracy called Western Capitalism.

While the Barcelona Climate Conference – dubbed both as the precursor and “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming UN Climate conference in Copenhagen in December 16, 2009 – failed to established binding targets when it comes to setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions by newly-industrialized countries like China and India. UN Climate chief Yvo de Boer now has doubts whether the upcoming “bigger” UN Climate conference in Copenhagen will achieve anything substantial in establishing a replacement treaty for the aging and largely ineffective Kyoto Protocol.

As far back as February of 2009, the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference was dubbed as the “Now and Forever” agreement. Because it was billed to establish binding treaties on greenhouse gas emissions that would minimize the worse effects of climate change like sea level rise and droughts for the next 50 to 100 years or so. Sadly, the corporate giants that built their edifices via the burning of coal, crude oil, and other fossil fuels had always found the political and economic clout to trump their profit earnings over the needs of our environment. Recession is no longer an excuse in placing our environment in peril.

Will the upcoming UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 16, 2009 offer something different and more substantial in comparison to previous climate conferences? Well, I hope so because a lot has been riding on it. If corporate profits manage to trump environmental needs yet again, we might just kiss the Maldives and Tuvalu goodbye. Because these little pieces of paradise will vanish beneath the waves if global warming continues unmitigated. While former US Vice President Al Gore has been very busy doing his part in convincing everyone to do their part in lowering our carbon footprint in the hopes of convincing the policymakers around the world that our environment still matters. Which I just hope that this would convince the world leaders attending the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen would favor the needs of our environment and the common people this time around. Lest everyone forgets that climate change caused by global warming is already a global problem. Who knows, this might be the environmental movements “End of History” moment.

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