Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cancun talks in Crisis

The UN COP 16 climate talks at Cancun are in crisis.

Japan has refused categorically to sign up to continuation of Kyoto.

The leaked US Cables have revealed that the US strongarmed countries into signing up to the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, which is what they are now pushing for as the basis of future talks (the US never ratified the Kyoto protocol).

Many developing nations see the legal obligations, enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol, on the developed nations with the largest historical responsibility for climate change as absolutely essential.

There is criticism of some developed nations saying that they are not coming up with the money for developing nations to combat climate change fast enough  and there is outrage over the EU's proposal that the money should be given as a loan rather than aid.

These are just some of the issues.

Competing national interests and scoping of future conflicts of interest, in my opinion, are also real unspoken issues.

Are we doomed to failure by economic self interest, religious mania and political short termism?  Will our political leaders only start negotiating in earnest and genuinely co-operating when it is too late?

Maybe if the Global Commons Institute can actually raise enough awareness of "Contraction and Convergence" as proposed by Aubrey Meyer and politicians can see beyond the national economic interest and the next election. Maybe, if the Transition paradigm takes hold, maybe if we end capitalism, maybe if we use geoengineering.....

We might still be able to dig ourselves out of the worst of this mess if there is enough real will to cooperate and implement drastic strategies.