Greenwash Of The Week: COP15 In Copenhagen

Greenwash Of The Week: COP15 In Copenhagen

Some say it is a greenwash, some say it isn’t. The leading climate change researcher, James Hansen, has already stated that any idea of a treaty there needs to fail as it will do literally nothing to stop climate change. “Summit talks so flawed that (a) deal would be a disaster” was said in The Guardian. So what is the hoopla over Copenhagen and its promise of saving the planet? From the Times Online:

It’s the last chance to stop global warming…until next time. The Copenhagen summit is part of a never-ending circus that is about so much more than just climate change.

Sadly, the author of that article (which is a must read for anyone who cares) hits the nail right on the head – these delegates have been doing the same thing for, well, 15 years at these summits – with barely any success or progress. What makes them think they will get much done this time?

The concept of “common but differentiated responsibilities” lies at the heart of the Copenhagen negotiations. This is a coded way of saying that only developed countries are expected to cut their CO2. China, India and other developing countries can go on increasing their emissions as long as these grow at less than the “business-as-usual” rate. With the planet-saving efforts of 190 countries being measured in two such different ways, there is boundless opportunity for accusations that some are not pulling their weight. When the circus rolls out of Copenhagen on December 18, the only certainty is that the big top will soon be re-erected in another city.

Do we need to do something? Absolutely…and ASAP. Some estimates say that we are already past the tipping point but I refuse to believe that there is nothing that can be done. However, I am also one of many who thinks that nothing substantial will come from the summit, unfortunately. And this is why we all need to let our voices be heard and not accept anything other than success on major, earth-shaking, ground-breaking climate change legislation. Don’t just assume that because some people are talking about climate change that anything will be done about it – do the homework and see what will actually get done as soon as possible. And if you aren’t happy with it, let your representatives, the President, and anyone else who will listen that we need to do more…because we do.

Is the summit a pure Greenwash? Not totally sure as I bet many people attending do want to get something done. I want something done. But with rich countries wanting developing countries to do as they say and not as they do, and developing countries wanting rich countries to pay for the changes they need made, the delegates may come away empty-handed…leaving us exactly where we were a week ago – hoping for the best from our leaders somewhere down the line. And I do question their ability to get anything of substance done when they are busy appeasing corporate interests and sponsors instead of the entire rest of the human race.

However, I am hopeful that I am wrong.


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