Monday, December 13, 2010


Sorry for leaving the updating this late. I just finished my SPM, which is THE public exam in this country.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned to the world section of the newspaper and saw this:

The 2010 Climate Conference in Mexico took place amid widespread pessimism that governments had the will to unite to stop global warming. Instead, the world was pleasantly surprised.

After all, 2009's Copenhagen Climate Conference was nothing but a sugar-coated failure. And now this? At the 2010 conference in Cancun, Mexico?

This deal is actually a kind of Green Climate Fund, in which rich countries help poor nations mitigate, and cope with climate change. The Mexico-brokered proposal includes measures for sharing clean technologies, helping protect tropical forests, and helping poor nations adapt to the effects of global warming.
Under the Green Climate Fund, the fact that there will be global cooperation to preserve rainforests is heartening, as biodiversity will also benefit from the move.

Probably most inspiring was this line in the article "the United States, China and dozens of other countries rallied around the plan...". These countries were, as recently as weeks before the conference playing what seemed to be an endless blame game. Rich countries demanded the poor join them in taking action, while developing countries, led by China, demanded developed countries do their bit first, and kept using poverty as an excuse.
The expression on Nicolas Sarkozy's face displays perfectly how frustrating the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference was.

It is true, of course, that many underdeveloped countries need financial and technical aid to address global warming. But it's also true that many developing countries are rich enough to start, with many in better fiscal positions than the West. Brazil, China (who spent 45 billion dollars to polish its image for the 2008 Olympics) and India, for example, can tackle global warming without a fund. That said, the fund should be directed to poor countries, not developing countries. (I'm sure you understand the distinction).
The 45 billion USD that China spent on the Olympics could be used to build about 189 photovoltaic solar plants, each producing 53 MW of power to 15 000 homes.

The reason this is a half-success is that no binding deal to cut emissions by fixed amounts came out of the talks. Developed and developing countries simply agreed to postpone this (and their accountability dispute) to 2011. Plus, Bolivia remained opposed to the deal, meaning the decision cannot be formally adopted. No one (except for the negotiators, perhaps) is happy about this particular outcome.

Still, the fact that countries can act together is a huge boost to those of us who were losing hope. But there's more to do. Developing countries should start cleaning up their act (and not ignore their problems just because they were pointed out by an also-guilty developed country) while developed countries should take the lead, because regardless of who started the warming, all of us will have hell to pay.

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