Sunday, March 1, 2009

United States taking climate change problem seriously?

After so many years of waiting, and so much hope that the world's most powerful nation will realize seriousness of climate change, things are finally going into the right direction. And what is even better Unites States is using all of its diplomatic skills to convince China to join in what should result in the new improved version of Kyoto protocol, where two major carbon emitters China and U.S won't be excluded. Hillary Clinton in her visit to China has stated that climate change is central focus of her visit, and how United States will try to form a partnership with China to tackle global warming and climate change. So far so good, a dream come true many would say. But there would be also some problems on the way.

First of all the most important goal of new climate pact should be significant decrease in CO2 emissions. It will be very interesting to see how far are world's leading economies willing to go given the current global recession. What is bigger priority - world's fight against climate change or world's fight against global financial crisis? Barrack Obama said many times how his goal is to turn United States into low carbon economy by reducing carbon emissions but this will not be an easy task because United States is traditionally dependent on fossil fuels.

What the world needs is much more obligatory climate pact, not like Kyoto protocol which was nothing more than a good idea and lots of promises that never turn into reality. New climate pact needs to have short and mid-term lower emissions goals, with special emphasis on major emitters such as United States, China and Australia. World should really learn from Kyoto protocol mistakes, and make sure that new deal isn't as fragile as Kyoto protocol was. Can the world this time make it right? Well, given the current emission levels this could be our very last chance to make it right so we need to make it right this time.

Every nation should accept carbon emissions limits because if only some countries do this and other don't there won't be a big difference on global scale. This will definitely not be an easy task with developing countries like China and India because they achieved their economic boom mostly by using coal (cheap fossil fuel), and they are likely to be reluctant to accept large changes to their industries. But the whole world will have to make industrial sacrifice because this time too much is on stake, namely our planet and lives of our future generations.

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