The COP of 2017 in Germany should deal with USA strategy to withdraw from the Negotiations:
It has taken international community decades to endorse scientific truth about climate change or global warming. High level international negotiations have come up with various recommendations and conclusions. One of the most successful negotiation is the Paris Conference of Parties held in France in 2015 that came up with Paris Agreement. This comes after many other global attempts to get governments and states on board with how best to deal with climate change and what response should be adopted.
Looking back to 1992, Rio De Jennairo (in Brazil), the so called Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, international community came to an agreement that something must be done about the environment. The same Summit endorsed the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) among other 2 concentions (Biodiversity and Sustainable Development). This was not the first time the world was getting more conscious about the climate change and its impacts on the environment, human development and humanity. Already in 1988, UNEP and WMO had come up with high level group of renown scientists to provide informed reports on climate change known as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Kyoto Protocol of 1997 had to deal with the legal aspect of the Convention. The idea was to come up with compelling document which has legal obligations. This was based on the principle of polluter pays. However, the question of Green House Gases that cause climate change is more complicated than what the principle would look at. Highly industrialized countries such as the USA, European Union members, and China were highlighted as the nations that have jeopardized the climate system. However, in 2009, in Copenhagen Conference of Parties, industrialized countries sharply disagreed and USA walked out. China felt that it was accused of causing the damages and harms of climate change.
However, since 1995, in Berlin, the international community embraced annual COP (Conference of Parties) to negotiate and share intelligence on climate change. From that time till today, parties have been meeting, not only to get briefs from the IPCC but also to show case of their commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Mitigation is the essential and key component of the intervention that nations need to engage in. This includes the reduction in the use of fossil fuel energy, reducing carbon emissions, and shifting to clean energy or green energy.
Mitigation is a very expensive process which requires consensus from powerful nations. This has brought the question of developing countries. Even if developing countries make less than 3% of the contribution to the GHG gases, they suffer the risks of climate change more than any other part of the world. Climate change has brought more problems to poverty reduction and aspirations already raised by the UN Development Goals. The worst hit sectors include agriculture and food production. African countries are the most vulnerable realities that need the global attention. Already the continent has the most varied climate regimes that are very harsh. Climate change has only added more pain to an injury.
Adaptation is another strategy coupled with mitigation process. The rationale of all this process is that, if we cannot change the climate to what it ought to be, then we must change with it. Adaptation is all about re-adjusting many things that determine our survival. To adapt is to change to a new reality. This comes with cost. Both non human organs and humans must adjust to the hardships caused by climate disorder. Heat waves, long droughts, cooling temperatures, severe over-flooding, acute food shortage, high solar radiation, rise of sea level, desertification, soil infertility, and quick changes in our environment force nations to be more concerned with adaptation as well.
Climate resilience and new technology that shall ensure human survival have been supported by international negotiators. However, the political economy shows that such initiative shall need funding. Climate finance include the commitment of each country to deal with its problems. This has come up with carbon tax or pricing, carbon trade and so on. However, we must consider the justice aspect of this reality. Poor countries need financial support from the rich nations. Conference of Parties agreed on Climate Global Fund in tune of 100 billion dollars per year to support poor countries deal with impacts of climate change. This is an ambitious proposal that expected wealthy nations to come up with the fund.
However, this blog story is more interested in how much we should consider adaptation? If we cannot change the climate, we must change with it. The question that occupies the minds of many people is, how and when? Since climate change is happening in such a rapid rate, adaptation process must consider space and time. It is likely that so many humans shall perish before the adaptation process comes to their rescue. People must alter their behaviour and the way they produce consumer commodities. The same climate change is as well complicating the already weak health sector. Governments must spend huge amount of money to offer health care, develop food production, and water resources. The problem is serious and requires our commitment other than expecting other countries to donate grants.
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