Saturday, December 26, 2009

Copenhagen brought Climate Change to the world’s attention!

It’s been a few days since my return from the Copenhagen Summit. And, there is just one remark made by everyone I meet or I am in touch with across the globe- ‘Copenhagen was a failure!’ But, I do not agree!
Having covered the conference from start to finish for both the Indian and International media, having followed the negotiators from Poznan, Poland (COP14) to Bonn, to Bangkok and then finally Copenhagen, the summit to me was no failure at all.
Agreed that in the all-night negotiations, leaders had reached a weak agreement in Copenhagen that failed to set the emissions targets needed to prevent catastrophic global warming. Agreed that the Copenhagen Accord was stronger on funding, but it was not binding, and set no urgent deadline to sign a real climate treaty. Agreed that big polluters like China and the US wanted a weak deal, and potential champions like Europe, Brazil and South Africa didn't fight hard enough to stop them.

While leaders failed to make history, people around the world did. In thousands of vigils, rallies and protests, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and millions of petition signatures, an unprecedented movement of the common man has begun in the world. After hearing the result of the talks, one member from Africa wrote "It takes a lot to get an elephant moving, but when you do it is hard to stop...the elephant is moving..." That really sums up what organizations like Aawaaz, WWF, Action Aid and Greenpeace achieved with their relentless drive to insist that the leaders did more. That sums up that Copenhagen woke up a slumbering world populace to the dangers of the crisis confronting us.

Copenhagen has built a movement among the youth across the globe that can win the fight to save our planet. As a committed ‘green,’ I believe, Copenhagen brought Climate Change out from the shadows or the corridors of science onto a world platform. Worldwide people now know what the Climate Change crisis is about and will make an effort to reduce pollution. The youth who were indolent have been galvanised to act. It’s a good feeling, that Copenhagen struck where it should- us the common man.
Never mind the politicians and their posturing.

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