From Hopenhagen to Brokenhagen
At the end of an exhausting two weeks of talks, near walk outs, demonstrations, seminars, sit-ins and haggling over emissions numbers and finance, the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen will be remembered more for what did not happen than what actually transpired at the end. What was needed was a strong, binding treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. What we got instead were some vague pledges by world leaders to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. How it will be done and who will do it has been deliberately left unanswered. In the meantime, the National Academy of Science in the USA warns us that if the planet warms beyond 2 C, it will cause the meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, resulting in 7 meter high waves that will flood most of the small island states and coastal areas. Many small island states and African countries wanted deeper cuts to limit global warming to 1.5 C, but that did not happen.