Sunday, December 6, 2009
Time for leaders to agree on how to save the planet
by Katie Day
COP15 is set to be the world’s biggest meeting to discuss climate change. It’s a time to agree to a way forward to limit the damage we have caused.
It was hoped a legally binding agreement would be signed to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but this seems unlikely now.
Negotiations between world leaders has been slow, each country waiting for the other to set goals before they set their own.
Some countries have set targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The European Union has agreed to cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels.
The aim of COP15 is to help world leaders reach agreement under a new Kyoto Protocol to fight climate change.
But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading body on assessing the effects of climate change, suggests this simply is not enough.
The latest IPPC report states with about 90 per cent certainty that climate change is the result of actions by human beings.
The report states that current actions being negotiated at COP15 will not be enough to stop the warming of our planet by two degrees Celcius.
The IPCC predicts we will not be able to reduce the impacts of climate change even if leaders were to agree on a climate change deal that reduced CO2 emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels. In fact, we will not even come close - scientists stating that governments should aim to cut emissions in half from 1990 levels by 2050.
The statistics show our planet will become warmer by four degrees even with a cut in emissions by 20 per cent.
We are running out of time, with the effects of climate change already being felt around the globe.
World leaders need to see the bigger picture, not what it will cost them - but the planet.
The question is, what are they waiting for?