It is apparent that most of the so called "developed nations" are not willing to curb their indulgent and excessive use of fossil fuels. These nations, including the United States, Europe, Australia and Canada, have produced most of the carbon emissions to date and still have very high per capita carbon emissions, yet they are unwilling to take substantive action to reduce their emissions.
For example, Kevin Rudd was only prepared to commit to a 5% emission reduction target, and he capped the "negotiating range" prior to Copenhagen first at 15% then at 25%. Yet in Bali in 2008, it was agreed based on scientific advice that developed nations should make cuts in the 25% to 40% range.
Australia negotiated at Copenhagen in bad faith. A 5% target is ludicrous and the 25% target was an absolute minimum rather than a maximum.
Many small and developing nations - such as Tuvalu in the Pacific - are feeling severe impacts of climate change through sea levels rises that are engulfing them. Little wonder they were not impressed by rich developed nations ignoring their plight and refusing to put significant emission reduction cuts of 40% or greater on the table.
I believe that the only fair and equitable target is to restrict carbon emissions to 2 tonnes per person per year. This would create a level playing field for all humanity.
The Copenhagen accord is a political agreement that specifies a voluntary target of restricting global temperature increase to 2C. However, current emissions by the world's nations put us on track for a 3.5C rise which scientists tell us would be catastrophic.
It is clear that global and national political and economic systems are failing to address climate change and associated ecosystem collapse, even though we have the technology and opportunity to move to low carbon economies and lifestyles.
It is time for the blame game to end. We must set and achieve goals to ensure a safe climate future such as limiting per capita carbon emissions to 2 tonnes per person, limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C, and reducing atmospheric CO2 to between 300-350ppm.
- Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009, Greenlivingpedia
- Climate code red: A climate con: Analysis of the "Copenhagen Accord", David Spratt