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Climate deal brokered by some of the countries at Copenhagen




After so much media attention, finally “some sort of deal” was struck in Copenhagen. But you can imagine the constraints in reaching a conclusion:
1. The science for Climate change is such that there will always be doubters, and unfortunately, the best proof will be only available when the effects of climate change will truly kick in (you already have Artic ice melting, shelfs of the Antartic splitting, glaciers retreating, coastal erosion, and so on). However, it is only when more catastrophic effects start kicking in will there be a realization that maybe things are now too late
2. The economics are staggering. To pull back on emissions means that changes have to happen economy wide, and with the recession going on, economies are loath to make such committments (although many of the economies were unwilling to commit even when they were not in recession)


3. The developing countries are unwilling to accept hard commitments since they believe that developed economies are responsible for the current situation and they have a lot of development to happen before they can commit to such controls and restrictions.
4. The convention had 192 countries represented, and the concept was that there would need to be a consensus from all countries before there could be an agreement – when you have difficulty in getting 20-30 countries to agree on something, the idea that all countries of the world could agree on something that has far reaching effects is laughable (or would be laughable if it were not for the subject being so serious)
In the end, the countries did not reach a unanimous agreement. The US used its position as the world’s most powerful nation to make a last minute entry, and negotiated with the more polluting countries (as well as the ones most likely to become the next major polluters) to reach an agreement that is not binding, or otherwise setting any hard targets. One can almost claim that the entire agreement is up in the air, except that India needs to learn more from China about doing more hardball, and not revealing all your tactics and lines in the media before leaving for an international agreement.




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