Monday, December 7, 2009

What to expect from new climate deal?

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has described the UN climate summit in Copenhagen as an "opportunity the world cannot afford to miss". And he's absolutely right because this new climate deal is our last chance to do something about climate change. Is there a reason for us to hope that world is finally ready for much stronger climate deal than it was the case with Kyoto protocol? Well if UN is right then it looks like an unprecedented number of countries have promised emissions cuts so we could actually see a strong climate deal. But there are also some problems that need to be solved before we can talk about the success of the new climate deal.

The biggest problem in this early stage looks to be the target of keeping the global average temperature rise since pre-industrial times, while most developed countries and some major developing countries want to stick with 2C temperature increase, small island states, together with some African states believe that this would cause serious climate impacts from rising sea levels, and are therefore supporting lower target of 1.5C.

The purpose of the new climate deal is not only global decrease in emissions but also to provide financial support for developing countries so they can adapt to climate change, and also to stop worldwide deforestation that is one of the biggest contributing factors in total CO2 emissions.

Many environmentalists believe that Copenhagen deal will only be a success if it delivers strong new climate deal that would ensure immediate action because world has already wasted too much time, so any delay at this point could easily mean that we lost the last chance to do something, and prevent the worst what climate change can offer.

There are still some major differences in opinions between the developed and developing countries but hopefully this will not affect the final outcome, and world will finally see the strongest possible climate deal. Hopefully.

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