Last month I wrote a post on our expectations for Copenhagen and urged that regardless of the outcome, we will all need to act to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Well, the results are in and they don’t look good. In my pre-Christmas down time I’m reflecting on where we stand after Copenhagen. The failure of these negotiations was the final blow to top off an incredibly depressing year globally. You can blame Obama, the UN or the new global baddie – China. Any way you slice it, Copenhagen failed to set targets and make countries accountable for their action. So, to quote richardprichard, ‘ho bloody ho’.
One of the things I learned about human cognition in my master’s course is that we add a certain weight to stimuli that appear repeatedly. This has been happening to me recently with regards to China. I seem to keep coming across stories about China in the news, from friends who have been there recently and now in Copenhagen. The bottom line is, they are up to some pretty dirty business and nobody can stop them. For the specifics of how China smashed our hopes to stop climate change check this article in today’s Guardian. I won’t get into the details as I’ve probably already blacklisted myself from future travel to China by writing this post.
Going back to the topic of my last related post, the failure of Copenhagen to bind us into emissions reductions shouldn’t stop individual countries from setting ambitious goals of their own. At least the UK can feel smug in knowing that knight in shining armour, Ed Miliband, saved the day at one point in the negotiations. But we still need to push the UK government to achieve our targets and to keep raising the bar. We’ll have another chance to form a stronger agreement in Mexico next year. If countries like the UK can show the progress they’ve made they will be a strong example to lead reluctant countries into action. Of course it’s more complicated than I’m leading onto in this brief post. Regardless, I plan to keep pushing forward, gaining my motivation from the idea that we have about a year to show just how much local action can do to fight climate change.