Copenhagen: A triumph of “spin over substance”?Posted: December 21, 2009
The Copenhagen Climate Summit has come to an end and after two weeks of flitting around on private jets, riding limos and eating caviar, what has the world got to show? A non-legally binding political agreement to prevent warming of no more than 2 degrees Celsius. To quote President Obama,
”You know, it raises an interesting question as to whether technically there’s actually a signature – since, as I said, it’s not a legally binding agreement, I don’t know what the protocols are.”
This is disappointing. The problem is, rich countries are too busy worrying about their collapsing economy to commit to any real, substantial changes, developing countries are too busy whinging about how it’s not fair that rich countries have been able to develop their economy by emitting tonnes and tonnes of carbon so it’s their turn now, and no one seems to care much about the small island nations and African countries who will soon be under water because it doesn’t directly affect them.
I’m appalled at the lack of pro-activity on the part of Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:
“Australia has already said it would only consider moving towards its maximum greenhouse gas cut of 25 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020 if all major developed countries make similar moves.”
Basically, Australia will do nothing if the US does nothing, which seems highly likely given that the US have made no changes in their policy. This isn’t good enough. In the words of Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett,
“The deal is a triumph of spin over substance.”
I’m not sure where we need to go from here. Some definitive action might be a start.
You can read the Copenhagen Accord here.