Copenhagen Summit: What’s at Stake?
On Wednesday, Matt McDermott at Planet Green offered up a concise look at what’s really at stake in the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks this December. It can really be broken down into three main areas:
1. The Goal – come to a global climate change agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol after its 2012 expiration.
2. The Specifics – “Science says that greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 to avoid catastrophic climate change.” This means the rich nations of the world need to commit to an 80–90 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, with an initial goal of 25–40 percent by 2020.
3. The Problem – Rich nations aren’t pledging anywhere near the needed amount, with Norway committed to just 30 percent, and the United States still grappling with a climate bill in the Senate. With China and India claiming they won’t commit to higher-level reductions because of poverty, the issue becomes more and more complicated.
Though Barbara Boxer recently said that the U.S. could make pledges in Copenhagen without a signed bill, McDermott points out that the biggest hurdle faced in Copenhagen is a political one. The world has the technology to do what needs to be done. The question is, can we all agree on how exactly to make sure it happens?