The Running Commentary


Climate change agenda vs. Economics

Sit with me and let's debate

Clearly the green conscious groups may feel disappointed by the results of the Copenhagen talks around climate change and the reluctance by the bigger polluters to commit to “meaningful” targets.  I would like to try and take a bit more of a pragmatic view of the Copenhagen talks.

Firstly though I would like to salute all of the activists and delegates from countries who fought so hard to keep the Climate agenda in the forefront of world news. While I thought that some of the “scuffles” were unnecessary, one must understand the passions in play. 

Given the past 14 to 18 months in terms of the global economic slump, one must conclude that being a leader in the major countries must be a battle of two decisions, balancing the immediate need vs the future needs of the people. Unfortunately the global reliance on outdated technologies means that the industries that recover first are the one’s heavily dependant on resources and ultimately contribute the biggest impact in terms of global warming. 

What the global economy needs is growth, what the planet needs is a conscious effort to reduce the emissions.

In terms of the pragmatic view that I set out to express. Let me say that there can be no doubt that the Global Warming agenda is enjoying a far higher global consciousness than ever before. This is a really good thing. The leaders of developed as well as developing nations are clearly feeling the pressure mounting in terms of reaching meaningful commitment around emission targets.

These pressures from and the high visability of the campaigners for global change, mean that we should begin to see these pressures translate into meaningful action. One gets the impression that had this conference taken place three years ago that perhaps the results would have been more favorable balanced in favour of the climate, perhaps not.

I do want to leave the following for thought though: We should not loose sight of the fact that the we still have the ultimate power to deliver results. Democracy means that we can elect our leaders and we can effect change through leadership change. I would urge you to begin to evaluate your current and future leaders on their climate policies. If the voter base moves in this direction then we will see the politicians move this way too.

Developing countries should focus on the new technologies that deliver both excellent financial results, coupled with clean, safe emissions. This will see them emerge as the new world order. Heavily industrialised nations are going to ultimately fail as they run out of resources and then are unable to sustain their populace.

So I do not see the talks as a failure at all. I am not sure that I agree with the Brown’s and Obama’s who seem to want everyone to believe that they were really succesful, but I do think that they have delivered results none-the-less.

Let’s continue to keep the focus wher it should be and ensure that we do not let up in terms of our pressure on our leaders.

350350ppmEarthEconomyemissionsenvironmentglobal warming

Mike • December 19, 2009

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