24 December 2009

Action Stations!

By: Kaavya Nag

Two years of promises and hope ended in major disappointment as we watched world leaders – the biggest muscle-flexers at that – pushing for a greenwash, poorly drafted Copenhagen Accord, to which not a single country could be held accountable for its actions.

The world was expecting something not unlike what we see in the movies as a Copenhagen Outcome - a happy end to a bad patch in history – a kalyug of sorts. But let’s face it: what we have is the Copenhagen Accord – a document that makes no promises on emission reduction targets in the mid or long term (the one thing the planet badly needed).

Nevertheless, that is what we have. It might not be as good as “what could have been”, or “what could have emerged out of the Long-term Cooperative Action process” of the UN Climate Convention. But it is admittedly better than a failure of talks. And yes, it is better than having a deal in which the (now) second largest emitter of greenhouse gases refuses to accept its fair share of responsibility for the sake of protecting its sovereignty or for reasons best known to it.

For now, the existence of the Accord means we have work to do. It is time to invest in re-pushing for all countries to convert a modified Copenhagen Accord into a legally binding and fair outcome by Mexico City 2010. It is time to push all major economies to pledge ambitious targets into Annex I and II of the Copenhagen Accord by 31st January 2010.
Instead of ourselves beginning a blame-game analyses and explaining to the world what we think went wrong, it is time to ‘adjust maadi’ and move on from here. Let us push for ambition from now on, rather than wishing for what could have been.

Why would we be so willing to settle for such a bad deal so easily? Simply because we would be naïve to think that the Copenhagen Accord will be retracted. And to think that us fighting over points of order and history, and what should have come out, will help combat global climate change.

We need the forward-look and proactive civil society engagement on this, and as soon as possible. 

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