Copenhagen Climate Change Conference: Nearing The End

Updated On

We may collect a share of sales from items linked to on this page. Learn more.

Will they or won’t they?

With only a few hours left to write and agree on a deal, that question is still largely unanswered. Or is it?

The better question should be, will the deal be substantial, or as it is suggested be a “political deal” promising to meet and to further discuss the issue again in the future.

There are many obstacles to still overcome, one of them being China’s reluctance on third party inspection, and United States position of insisting there has to be third party inspection.

The Danish Presidency has given up on its ambition to create consensus on a text that would form the basis of a global political deal to combat global warming. 119 heads of state and government met on Thursday and Friday to negotiate, the Presidency had hoped to present the world leaders with a text containing as few as possible open questions on issues such as emission cuts, financing of climate aid to developing countries and other issues. However developing countries represented by the Group of 77 blocked the initiative.

The strategy now is to try to make progress in some isolated areas, preparing the ground for the next UN climate negotiations which will take place in Mexico next year.

The Guardian is reporting negotiators are now saying openly that “at best” the conference will write “a weak political agreement that would leave no clear way forward to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions. That would mean the negotiations staying in limbo well into next year, increasing the damage caused by global warming”.

Adding to the overall negative tone in the conference was a confidential UN draft marked “do not distribute” and “initial draft” obtained by The Guardian reveals emissions cuts offered so far at the Copenhagen summit will actually lead to global temperatures rising by an average of three degrees.

The report shows a gap of up to 4.2 gigatonnes of carbon emissions between the present pledges and the required level of 44 gigatonnes required to stay below a two degree temperature increase.

“The UN is admitting in private that the pledges made by world leaders would lead to a three degree rise in temperatures. The science shows it could lead to the collapse of the Amazon rainforest, crippling water shortages across South America and Australia and the near-extinction of tropical coral reefs, and that’ just the start of it” says Greenpeace campaigner Joss Garman.

So, will they or won’t they? With 120 leaders assembled in Copenhagen, there is one thing they all can agree on, none of them like to publically humiliated. That might just be enough motivation to draft something.

  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

What do you think? Leave a comment!