My personal reflections on this blog take inspiration from the Bahá’í teachings.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Copenhagen Conference better than some say

In some quarters the recent Copenhagen Climate Change Conference is being called a debacle. This view is too harsh.

Yes, the conference failed to achieve a binding agreement at the end. But this was the kind of failure that is partly a success because the attempt was made in the face of great obstacles.

Consider the depth of the issues that are coming to a head because of the threat of climate catastrophe. They include the divide between the rich and poor nations, the still-bitter legacy of colonialism, conflict of rival political systems, confronting the obsolescence of state sovereignty, and the inertia of millions of voters who are more preoccupied with economic worries than ecological doom.

The conference delegates had to struggle to find agreement with these huge issues coming into play between them. Watching BBC news reports I was struck by the earnestness with which they approached the task.

This event may yet go down in history as a significant early occasion when world leaders and civil society, in great numbers, gathered to seriously address global problems globally.

At this stage though, everything depends on whether the momentum keeps going, or the will to act fades away. The figures that scientists are giving us these days on climate change are concentrating minds like never before. This is not a time to let patterns of the past determine the future.

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