The Durban summit 2011 has reached its conclusions. But is anyone happy?
The United Nations called world leaders to South Africa 28 November to 11 December to discuss the global threat of Climate Change. Negotiations were unsurprisingly long and difficult. The pivotal issue regarding 21st Century international legal agreement about global warming, is that developing countries’ growth will be cut back alongside their carbon emissions. Is this fair? Whilst rich, developed countries such as the USA experienced their industrial revolutions generations ago, developing countries such as India and Brazil are currently in the middle of theirs. In order to reach worldwide equality we cannot impose such restrictions. Surely different rules could apply to different economies?
Yes. But on the other hand, the world is cooking and we’re not the only creatures on this planet. Unfortunately we all have to get with the programme. Personally I believe developed countries are in a stronger position to change their infrastructures and introduce social reform to support a lower carbon society. And this should be their responsibility. However developing countries must also take responsibility for their devastating pollution. China is the world’s greatest greenhouse gas emmiter. It cannot be excused. This problem is not just a human problem and everyone will have to make sacrifices.
The good news is the Durban Summit has officially recognised this. The bad news is it didn’t achieve much more than this recognition. But huge ground has been covered to reach an international legally binding treaty. Has this been a successful conference?
British newspaper The Guardian reports:
Predictably however, the majority of environmental and social bodies are disappointed.
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