Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cop Out for COP15

Late in October British Environment Minister Ed Miliband said "The truth is if this is left to the negotiators ... I think we'll fail," In Singapore last weekend world leaders confirmed Miliband's prophetic sentiment with a statement that indicated there will be no agreement on climate change ahead of December's climate change talks in Copenhagen.

Despite the international pressure being exerted on the US, the fate of climate change legislation remains uncertain.

Agreement must be reached on funding to help poorer nations adapt to changes in the earth's climate, they also need funds and technologies to develop their economies while minimizing their environmental impact.

Several hundred billion dollars will be needed every year, but as yet there is no acceptable formula for raising, administering and distributing the funds.

"The rich countries of the Major Economies Forum must urgently put new money on the table to ensure the developing world can grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change, which are already putting millions of lives at risk," said Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth.

Rapidly developing nations like India, China, Brazil and Mexico have agreed to draw up national strategies for slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but resist binding limits. Industrial countries agree to reduce their own emissions, but not to the levels scientists say are required to avert climate catastrophes.

Thanks in large measure to reluctant legislators in the US Senate, recent months have offered little progress towards a legally binding deal on climate change. Sadly, the most we can hope for in Copenhagen is a politically binding deal and months of legal wrangling.

Next: Obama's Achievements Ahead of COP15 / The Cost of a Global Deal on Climate Change

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