Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The hullabaloo over climate change

Its the 'climate change' season (quite literally)! Everyone's talking about climate change and its definitely the buzz word right now. (Check out this Google Insight page. It shows a huge rise in the number of people searching for the world 'climate change' over the last 90 days)

More than 15,000 delegates from 192 countries from around the world have gathered in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference. Fair to say, the entire humanity is looking at this event in the hope that it would help carve an amicable path to tackle climate change. A solution they hope will be acceptable to the developed countries as well as to the developing nations without hampering their path to progress and development. Yet this simple idea has run into trouble since time immemorial. The developed nations are unwilling to share the burden of climate change and are more intent on passing the buck towards the developing nations. While the developing nations are unwilling to trade development with the pro-climate-change agenda. And there we are, exactly where we were around a decade ago, still deadlocked in the silly old mudslinging and passing the buck game, while the temperature rises, the Antarctic melts and more and more people lose their lives to the violence of nature.

Fair to say, in all these UN conferences, its the US which gets the priority or has more say when it comes to framing of new regulations. In this respect, the current US administration is certainly more 'green-minded' than its predecessor and President Obama does seem genuinely concerned about the issue. However when it comes to framing stringent, time-specific rules, its falls short of even coming close to a mutually agreeable solution with the other nations. And the developed countries always have the development vs climate change costs argument to come up with.

Since this debate has clearly divided the world into the 'developed' and the 'developing' nations, I would say its time that both parties showed some maturity in dealing with climate change.
The US needs to let go of the presumption that it has significantly reduced carbon emissions because it has not. It needs to come out of the assumption that developing countries as of now contribute more to emissions than itself because they dont. It needs to contribute whole-heartedly to global warming/climate change research and help the poorer/developing and even the other developed nations in sharing the research. It needs to provide the developing countries with all necessary financial support. I know its a lot to ask for, but havent the developed nations contributed (and is still contributing) the most to the enormous carbon emission levels today?
The developing countries need not sit tight and relax while the big brothers battle climate change. It needs to come up with a proper time specific solution of how it intends to tackle global warming. It needs to figure out a way to significantly reduce carbon emissions and perhaps most importantly figure out a path to continue industrial development without harming the climate any further.

At the end of the day its all a matter of good, old-fashioned 'intent'. Lets hope our leaders from around the globe come up with a proper idea of creating a cleaner, greener future for us.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti /

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