Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Now that Copenhagen has failed, the world's attention now turns to the next international meeting in Mexico, 2010. And, as everyone knows, there are certain things that the world's nations need to do to for the next meeting to flow without allegations of hypocrisy, walkouts or protests. My ideas are fairly simple, but they will work wonders in helping to draft an agreement, as well as in carrying out the tasks agreed upon.

For developed countries, it is absolutely critical to start coming up with more agendas on how to tackle the problem in their own country first. To this day, the US still has not passed a domestic climate bill, with President Obama more concerned on the health care issue. Adaptation of green energy, especially next-generation nuclear power, is also going very slowly. In developed countries, politics, rather than economics holds up the process. Plus, developed countries, are fearful of imposing more emissions limits on major carmakers, as the world slowly begins to escape recession, but with the economic outloook getting better, it is time to start doing so. Europe also has to do more, such as imposing a carbon tax, besides its' regular carbon market.
Next generation nuclear plants like this one are essential to combat global warming. Too bad nuclear energy still suffers from bad press.

Speaking of markets and money, the fund for developing countries carbon emissions should also be increased. Developed countries have pledged $ 100 billion to help developing countries fight climate change, but while this figure is too little, the $800 billion requested by Malaysian PM Najib Tun Razak is way too much. Still, the developed nations need to raise money, and this is probably best done through carbon markets. But, better than this method is to develop and transfer green technologies to developing countries, as well as harnessing their abilities to fight climate change (like jatropha biofuel).

As for the developing countries, they've got quite a bit to do too. First, they need to compile a full energy audit, showing all energy sources and measuring the emissions of major industrial sites. They should also note certain target areas for immediate action, and put these areas on the priority list for receiving Western aid and technology. Plus, they should also do complete analyses of transportation systems, calculating the number of cars on the road, and what energy sources do public transport systems use. It's also integral to do energy audits for all government buildings as well as providing incentives for private companies to do the same.
Sights like this are common in developing countries too. Sadly, their environmental impact assessments aren't.

Even more important is the effort needed by developing countries to receive the money that 1st World nations properly. It is a known fact that many developing countries, the African ones in particular, handle simple cash aid with such corruption that perhaps 90% of the money given is siphoned off by official after official before it finally reaches its' target. By that time, the amount is too little to be put to any use. The problem is much worse in these countries' Environmental Protection Agencies, as bribery to flout eco-laws is a norm in developing countries' industries. It is imperative thus, that for effective use of the money, or maybe even increased handouts (if the West decides to trust the 3rd World more), corruption must be stamped out.
Perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks in global climate action could be removed if corruption was tackled. As an extra bonus, social equality would improve too.

These steps are by no means the only ones, they are simply what I consider to be the most important. Not just because they'll be effective in the next round of talks, but because they will have multiple advantages, not just climate related ones. So, to work!

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