May 24th, 2014 Posted in Canada & Beyond | No Comments »
Copenhagen Summit Roundup – Part 4
Early into the United Nations Copenhagen Summit, fears were in place that the conference would not be able to come up with a unified agreement as originally hoped. All around the world, leading climatologists (and even some politicians chimed in) led the discussion that this particular climate summit was our ‘last chance’ to turn things around; that is, our final opportunity for the world community to form real agreements that would reverse, and ultimately eliminate the public health and environmental threat caused by harmful carbon emissions.
Some blame China for what is seen as the failure of the summit. Despite the fact that an accord was adopted, China is seen as a villain for causing so much distress because of their refusal (until, some say, forced by the hand of the United States, and more specifically President Barack Obama) to submit to a transparent process for monitoring progress toward emissions reductions. Some blamed the United States for, as usual as these critics charge, pushing smaller, less affluent countries around. Still others blame ‘smaller’ players like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nicaragua for threatening to veto the accord, in part out of protest for the forced hand of big, rich players like the United States. However, a new, more nefarious ‘enemy’ to the accords has recently been identified, and it might surprise some to know that that ‘villain’ is Denmark, herself.
Did the host country ruin the Copenhagen Summit? Critics charge that the host government, who convened a unilateral meeting of 26 hand-picked (by Denmark’s Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen) that would threaten the strength of a document drafted multilaterally by all of the attending nations. In fact, other world leaders ‘warned’ Rasmussen to not convene such a unilaterally motivated meeting of the minds, as it would undermine any document or accord that would be presented as a result of pain inducing discussions involving more than 190 countries throughout the two week summit, and, actually for the last four years of climate change discussions between the participating countries.
Despite the warnings and admonishments from other participating government, the Danish government did indeed produce and present a document that seemed to explicitly conflict, at times, with the multilateral and democratically negotiated accord where 193 countries had collectively been involved in coming to an agreement on the many-faceted climate deal.
Especially since these unsanctioned meeting occurred during the last days of the Copenhagen Summit, the move by Denmark is seen as a way for the host country to bring attention to itself as a solution finder, and more for public image and relations than trying to contribute to a true and lasting accord.
What the long-term effects of Denmark’s move will be are up in the air. As the host country, their move has been seen as some as a showcasing of the host country’s government. Still others fear that this move will cause irreparable harm to the ongoing discussions that will continue for the next few years, as the world (it is hoped) community comes to some sort of agreement on how to reduce harmful carbon emissions.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Jan 1, 2010.