Monday, December 7, 2009

Copenhagen: a chance to fight climate change

The Copenhagen Conference might be our best chance to prevent further climate change. China and the U.S. are disagreeing about the changes. As I understand it, China says the rich countries who got us in this mess should pay (e.g. the U.S.), whereas the U.S. says everyone should pay. The best answer is probably to take into account the country's economics. I mean, do we expect Ethiopia or Sierra Leone to contribute equally to China or the U.S.? Of course not. But China is hardly a poor country now. And a few other large, but poor, countries aren't exactly helping; I'm thinking of India. And while most Canadians are supporting initatives to prevent climate change (according to recent polls), our government is only willing to commit to a 3% decrease (to protect our lucrative but polluting tar sands). Saudia Arabia, I believe, is still saying climate change isn't real. So this is a fine mess.

Here's hoping they can agree to some meaningful reductions: goals that are achievable with action plans that the bigger countries / regions can at least agree to implement (particularly the EU, U.S. Canada, Australia, China and India, and perhaps a couple other countries). That would probably (in my uneducated and humble opinion) be a great start and have a large impact on the world.


  1. Unfortunatley you are correct about India and China. Since lots of manufacturing and production is being shipped over there, they are now leading polluters. They don't want to clean up their act because it would cost too much money to do so. Until the western world can get them on board, any type of plan we come up with seems meaningless to me as they will just be pumping it out over there - and we all share the same atmosphere.

  2. You're right: we can't regulate where pollution goes because it's all the same atmosphere.

    But I disagree that anyone's action plan is meaningless without India or China. I think if the EU, US and Canada (although we're not a power player, I think we should do our part, too) formulated a very good plan to reduce pollution, we would have the moral authority to condemn India and China. With that condemnation, we could even implement taxes or levies on their products to offset the extra carbon their pollution produces. I think if they won't get on board with our plan, we could pressure them to get on board. (That being said, our country shamelessly only agreed to a 3% reduction in spite of being a signatory to Kyoto! So we have no moral authority as a country. But rest assured, many Canadians disagree with our official stance.)

    But I do agree that