Global Historic Moment in Copenhagen

  • 7 December 2009

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change – to be held in Copenhagen form 7th to 18th December 2009 – is a significant international event at a time when environmental concerns, with regard to global warming and climate change, are at its peak. The Summit is discussing a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997 and ends in 2012. This new agreement will guarantee a strong legal framework through which a common effort can be made to confront the dangers of climate change and avert the catastrophic results this could have for the planet. The Summit is happening in the wake of strong initiatives by United Nations and other concerned bodies that are pushing for specific and serious commitments to overcome the challenge based on participation and cooperation between the developed and developing countries. In that context, one can understand the high level of participation by world leaders at the Copenhagen Summit including US President Barack Obama, who will participate at the end of the discussions, and prime ministers of China, India besides 89 world leaders. Despite the obstacles facing international agreements on climate change, in general, the specific commitments made by some parties before the Summit have raised hopes of an agreement. It also sends a message that world leaders realize the danger ahead and are committed to confront it. Perhaps the most important commitments have come from the United States, China and India to reduce emissions that cause global warming in various proportions until the year 2020. This is a sign of growing commitment in the international arena regarding the need to build a common and conciliatory approach to deal with the problem of climate change.

What makes the Copenhagen Summit more significant is that it is happening at a time when two extremely divergent views are being heard. The first is the element of doubt regarding climate change itself and the extent of human responsibility if one consider the phenomenon of global warming is a mere hoax. Secondly, some parties are calling for the cancellation of all international cooperation previously agreed upon in this regard so as to make a fresh beginning, which will indeed be a waste of time and effort as the dangers of climate change increase.

If world leaders succeed in taking effective decisions at the Copenhagen Summit it will send an important message across the globe and will confirm that they are aware of the seriousness of the situation. This will also reemphasize the importance of cooperation in tackling the problem of climate change. Efforts must, however, be made to build on the objectives already achieved over the years and by not undermining its devastating effects of climate change.