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Friday, November 15, 2013

Warsaw... an opportunity wasted!

While typhoon Haiyan massacred as many as 10,000 innocent overnight, world leaders gathered and sat around a table in Warsaw discussing what to do next. Not one amongst them showed real visible grief about what had just happened in the other corner of the world. Their actions did not show any signs of the necessity to ink a deal. And after a few days of negotiations they finally acknowledged that ‘developing countries would be the most hit by climate change’.
Wait a second! What did they say?
Just a few weeks back, CNN came out with a detailed report having the list of 10 countries that would be the most hit by climate change. I can recall that at least half of this list is populated by underdeveloped countries. Fine, we don’t really care about the under developed third world.
It’s indeed a relief that they finally acknowledged that climate change is taking a toll on human life. Not really surprised by that – they have been doing this in all their summits since the Kyoto protocol! It’s been a decade and all we hear is acknowledgement of the existence of climate change and its impact on society. But what next?
Well, in this capitalistic society there is no next. Back in 2009 at Copenhagen it was agreed that countries around the world would set up a climate fund worth $100 billion! So far only $16 billion have been promised by the rich nations, most of it as loans. Poland the host nation of this year’s summit held a coal summit simultaneously with this – what an irony! And who is to be blamed?
Every climate change summit in the last few years has not delivered around two sensitive topics – the blame and the corrective action. Poland infamously exclaimed recently that ‘there should be collective action’ when questioned about their coal summit! Australia was awarded the ‘Fossil of the year!’ award at this summit. Pity that they still do not care even though climate change induced forest fires are continuously ravaging throughout the country.
The emotional speech by the Philippine climate change representative was heartwarming.   Seriously, it did touch me, but sadly it did not move even a single stone hearted diplomat sitting in that room. Rich countries who can afford the casualty of climate change make no effort at convincing the rest about the need for a change. The developing world – India and China to be precise think their development is more important, not realizing that a Haiyan like storm can flatten this development in a matter of hours. And the really affected under developed poor nations – hey, who’s even talking to you?
Kyoto, Copenhagen and now Warsaw…… an opportunity wasted!