Corporate profit v. environment
The U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen has ended in a disappointment for so many. It seems, too many environmental groups had a very high expectation on the outcome of the summit. Corporate profit v. environment, that is the struggle isn’t it? Those who had hoped for a much deeper emissions cuts and a formidable mitigation funding, their dream was cut short.
It seems that the two major “ super power polluters”, China and the U.S. have created a common front in making sure that they will not be part of any meaningful, and binding emission reduction targets. Moreover, they also have a convergent interest in blocking the rest of the world from checking whether they are meeting the minimal target they have agreed to. All countries are not created equal. Those, with the military and economic might can impose their will on others. It has been so, it is so, and it will be so.
My greatest realistic fear: the U.S. congress will not agree to anything that will significantly reduce emissions. Therefore, president Obama’s participation in any international negotiation will be for naught.
Three things that I thought were crucial from the Copenhagen accord:
- The recognition that the developing countries are impacted more by the adverse effects of environmental degradation.
- Decisions should be based on science; and,
- “The collective commitment by developed countries to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 . 2012 with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.”
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Professor Mekonen Haddis