Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Copenhagen, and the future

The conclusion of the Climate Change Talks in Copenhagen has left us with a lot of lessons to be learned. The management of the talks left a lot to be desired both in terms of the Agenda and in the range of involvement. Developing countries do not like to be left out in the cold; they want to be fully involved in the talks that will have so much impact on their future development. I’m am glad to see the UN Secretary General has recognised this and will work to improve the negotiation process before the next round of talks

I must admit to a feeling of déjà vu watching the talks progress. Before Doha, it would have often been the G8 countries coming together, making decisions and then letting everyone else know what had been decided. While on this occasion the range of countries involved was much wider (almost the G20) it still excluded some of the countries that will be the worst affected by climate change.

One good thing is immediately apparent coming out of the talks, the high emission countries, the US, EU, China, India, Japan, etc are now fully involved in finding a solution to climate change and its causes. While the agreement is not legally binding, by publically committing to the accord the countries are recognising the problem and have agreed to work to keep global temperature rises below 2oc – this is progress.

One of the foreseeable outcomes of the agreement as it moves to implementation is the cost of development in developing countries increasing; this will change the future path of development. While the agreement makes previsions to increased Aid to the developing world, $30 Billion over the next 3 years, and $100 billion by 2020, this is not likely to be new money - the state of the finances in the developed countries makes that improbable.

The cost of development and the way it takes place will have to be reviewed, with less government money going to traditional development projects there may well be greater competition between developing nations to attract private sector support. Also the private sectors involvement, from the very beginning, in the roll out of carbon trading and the use clean technologies to the developing world is absolutely essential.

lets hope 2010 will be bring a new commitment from governments and the private sector to work for cleaner technology and lower emissions.

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