Why care about a meeting in Copenhagen?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 | Environment Update

The highest level of carbon dioxide ever in the atmosphere has just been recorded. Still, we do not know how this will affect us and our livelihoods. There are many signs of climate change such as melting glaciers, altered weather conditions and changed plant distributions. From individual to global level, our task is to decrease our emissions of green house gases and to find strategies to cope with the changes ahead.

In the beginning of December, the UN gathers the world community (15,000 delegates from 192 countries) to decide on reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and other green house gases. This discussion is a continuation of the Kyoto-protocol that ends 2012. The Kyoto-protocol is ratified by 187 countries in the world. One of the weaknesses of this protocol is that the world’s greatest emitter of carbon dioxide, the United States, has not ratified the agreement. One of the key issues in Copenhagen is therefore to create a truly global protocol. Key challenges are how to deal with the developed countries historical responsibility for today’s situation and how to support developing countries in their future transition into energy saving technology. The decisions reached in Copenhagen will determine the future of the planet as well as having an impact on almost all aspects of our daily life.

UN site on the Climate Convention

UN campaign for political will and public support for a comprehensive agreement

Recommended reading: High Tide by Mark Lynas (2004)

February sun over Istanbul, image courtesy Sara Borgström

February sun over Istanbul, image courtesy Sara Borgström

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