Copenhague 2009: ¿Hacia un nuevo protocolo contra el cambio climático? (2 de 2)

Continuando con la serie acerca de la Conferencia de la ONU sobre Cambio Climático que se celebrará en Copenhague en diciembre, compartimos en este post la visión de Arthur Dahl, Presidente del International Environment Forum y anterior Coordinador del United Nations Systems-Wide EarthWatch. Arthur Dahl visitó EOI el año pasado y habló sobre el papel de las empresas y los gobiernos ante los desafíos de la sostenibilidad, puedes descargar su ponencia aquí. Un año después, continúa activamente implicado en los avances en la lucha contra el cambio climático,  se muestra pesimista respecto a la actitud de los gobiernos, más preocupados de sus intereses nacionales y de cargar a otros la responsabilidad de “salvar el medio ambiente” (ver artículo “Global deal on climate change at risk”) y confía en la capacidad de la sociedad civil de movilizarse para defender los intereses comunes. Esto es lo que Arthur Dahl nos ha contado:

I was at the International Climate Change Science Conference in Copenhagen in March, and the pessimism was general. The environmental changes, particularly in polar areas, are happening much faster than almost anyone anticipated. But while the science is alarming and calls for immediate extreme action, governments are still squabbling in defense of their national interests. Even in America, where the new administration is ready to act, powerful lobbies still have enough influence in Congress to block the necessary legislation. There has been so much disinformation for so long that many refuse to believe that this is really an emergency situation. The financial crisis has not helped because the trillions thrown at the banks to save them from their folly have not left much leeway for the hundred billion a year needed to respond to climate change.

On the more positive side, countries like China and India are beginning to move heavily into renewable energies, and they have the capacity to go far very quickly. Unfortunately their rising energy needs are such that this may not reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but only replace some of the new fossil fuel capacity that otherwise would have been required.

It is too early to say what kind of an agreement might come out of Copenhagen in December (which in itself is a reason for pessimism). Countries are still playing their cards close to their chests, and waiting for someone else to go first. The Japanese have just announced significant reduction targets, which might help. A major issue is the funding for developing countries that should come from the industrialized countries that caused the problem to begin with. Whatever money they give will only increase their borrowing, which is already at record unsustainable levels.

Given the reduction in GHG emissions this past year with the recession, a hopeful pessimist might wish for a collapse of the global economy resulting from a loss of confidence in governments’ ability to repay their debts. That might provide some breathing space in emissions to allow replacement technologies for fossil fuels to build up some more momentum.

My hopes now are less on governments, too trapped in their political contradictions, and more on some emerging mass movements in civil society. A wide variety of groups are mobilizing to put pressure on governments and to build popular support for changes in behaviour and consumption patterns. A significant debate on climate ethics is emerging, and I shall be contributing to some such events in Copenhagen. One example is the Alliance on Religions and Conservation, (ARC) which, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, has encouraged the eleven major religions to prepare long-term action plans on climate change and the environment. These will be launched on 2-4 November, a month before Copenhagen, in an event hosted by Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with the UN Secretary-General, as the largest civil society movement in history.

Para saber más sobre las actividades que está llevando a cabo el International Environment Forum en la lucha contra el cambio climático, accede aquí.


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