Copenhagen: Irish Message not Waved
As environment ministers from the UN’s 193 member countries meet at the Bella Center in Copenhagen this week, Irish environmentalists await a fair and safe climate change agreement. This meeting is called a Conference of the Parties (COP) and is held annually. This year’s conference commenced December 7, 2009 and will end on December 18, 2009. The goal of the 2009 conference is to establish a global climate agreement for the period from 2012, when Kyoto Protocol expires, to which all countries will adhere. Talks for this new agreement began in Bali two years ago. This goal is in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s overall goal of stabilising the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to a level that brings an end to the dangerous, man-made effects of climate change. It is imperative that this stabilisation occurs in a way that does not bring about extreme shock to the ecosystem, but rather lets the environment naturally adapt. In this process, food supply safety must not be compromised, sustainable, socio-economic development should be encouraged and the least developed nations should be supported in their efforts to cope with the implications of climate change. A new agreement is needed not only because the Kyoto Protocol expires in two short years, but also because it only was applied to a small group of countries. The new agreement is hoping to be more comprehensive and set goals to be reached by 2020. Industrialised nations will set targets of reduction in carbon emissions, with the big emitters China and the US claiming they will cut emissions in the region of 20-40% of 2005 GHG levels, a level not sufficient to reduce the possibility of a 2 degree increase in global temperatures (a increase of which is predicted to bring on devastating effects on global weather patterns and biodiversity). Countries will also negotiate technological advances as well as types of adaptation techniques to deal with the effects of climate change such as; new farming practices/crop variation, forest protection, fresh water retrieval, and sea defenses. We can only hope that the Irish delegates represent the growing concern for the effects of climate change in Ireland and sign up to a fair and safe deal in Copenhagen.
Also a big thanks to all who supported The Wave on December 5th in Dublin City Centre! It was a great day and we made sure to demand ‘Justice in Copenhagen’. The Wave got front page of the Sunday Times on December 6th and was shown in the RTE news on Monday on their piece on Copenhagen! At least we know we sent the Irish delegates off with the right message!