Climate Change and the United Nations

Climate Change

From a previous input I was moved by many of your concerns expressed responding to the issue of global warming. We with many environmental campaigners expressed our desire to see world governments making concerted efforts to form a tangible agreement to reduce carbon emissions the main cause for changes in global weather patterns. While many poor nations were pointing fingers at leading industrialized nations for dragging their feet on the issue others were advocating changes that would prevent total catastrophe. Many developed nations were not seen to be taking the issue seriously until recently when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at a visit to the North Pole expressed horror and alarm at the surprising speed at which the Glaciers were melting. The Secretary General wasted no time in calling for an urgent summit of world leaders to formulate action on climate change. The UN chief wanted the gathering not to be a talking shop, but see powerful nations, the US, Russia, and China take concerted action citing suffering in poor nations as a consequence of global warming.

UN Conference

So the United Nations this week met in New York with many heads of governments in attendance, and with the hope of exerting badly needed urgency into stalled negotiations for a climate change treaty that, many analyst acknowledged, are in danger of being forgotten. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had pointed out that unless world leaders can be converted into steadfast supporter of drastic action now, it will be very hard to reach a realistic regulatory treaty to prevent the damaging cost of climate change. Progress at this New York summit is calculated as vital, as many before it has failed to reach a satisfactory accord by rich and powerful nations. China and Russia have been seen to resist any attempts to put pressure on them while they say the US; under the former president George Bush administration, was unmoved to act pointing to the need to protect American jobs. The new administration is seen as a more corporative ally, and Obama had expressed his willing pre and post elections to act more decisively on climate change. Many still accused the present US administration of offering little action, claiming China has stolen the show by making efforts to kick start a deal on climate change. Obama admitted his countries former reluctance on the issue, but pointed to the need for action to prevent a worldwide catastrophe. India an emerging powerhouse economy has also indicated an aggressive move on climate change.

Cutting Emissions

Africa has bee seen for a long time as the world dumping ground for developed countries toxic waste, but also the most devastated region of the consequences of climate change. Therefore the leaders meeting in New York have a duty to listen and hear from those countries that are vulnerable and suffering as a result of the actions of powerful nations. The G20 leaders will move on from New York to a summit in Pittsburgh next, and many hope the leaders see and understand the impacts of climate change which has fallen very heavily on some of the poorest countries and people of the world, which are likely to see the end of many states. The leaders will share lunch with environmental campaigners and heads of corporations who have been pressing their governments for urgent action. By the time the summit ends it is hoped the leaders will be filled with a new sense of purpose to take urgent action to affect worldwide change. The summit hoped leaders will take on the big emissions cuts of between 25-40% by year 2020, moving to a massive but reachable target of 80% by year 2050. Experts argued this target is needed to keep temperatures from rising more than two degrees above their pre-industrial levels, the target set by scientists in order to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

Oil Rich States

The leaders are urged to consider the consequences of climate to poorer countries unless they act now. Many environmental campaigners have put the blame of disasters affecting different parts of the world squarely at the feet of rich and powerful nations. Other oil rich states have come in for much criticism for earning and getting rich from oil and its byproducts but not doing enough to clean up the environment, of getting wealthier at the expense of the poorer nations. As I put this together the news unfold that the aviation industry have pledge to slash carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2050, a move that surely will force up air fares and spark a green technology race among airline makers. Willie Walsh British Airways chief executive is said to reveal agreement between airlines, airports and aircraft companies to cut emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050. With the aim of seizing the initiative on his competitors and from environmental campaigners calling for higher taxes on the airline industry frequently accusing them of blatantly disregarding the high levels of pollutions caused by aircraft and air travel. Mr. Willie Walsh the report says will reveal the plan to the leaders at the United Nations climate change summit. The airline industry have long been accused of dragging their heels over the issue of climate change, but this shift sees the industry becoming more concerned that it could be seen as the odd one out on the effect of global warming.

Breaking the Deadlock

Campaigners and many African and poor countries heads of government were calling for a new urgency and spirit of co-operation in the negotiations at the UN summit. Many analysts claiming that the fate of every nation on earth hangs in the balance if no agreement is formulated and signed. With many seeing it as too important a matter to point finger rather than taking decisive actions that will see a change in world outlook and breathe confidence in poorer states, that their needs are being met. Campaigners see the attendance of China's president, Hu Jintao, as important to breaking the stalemate in the climate change talks by declaring his countries plans to reduce China's carbon emissions matching those of other large nations. If the UN should BA’s chairman Willie Walsh suggestion they will be given serious consideration at a proposed Copenhagen conference. I suspect many American many American aircraft companies have their own proposals, but seriously outplayed by the British national carrier. World leaders have shown optimism to agree global emissions reduction targets at this summit. The pledges are drawn up by members of the global airline body, the International Air Transport Association, and are ambitious targets. However, the IATA presentation to the UN is seen by climate change campaigners as an attempt to prevent being punished at the Copenhagen conference for not doing enough sooner. Analyst estimated the airline industry currently accounts for 1.6% of global greenhouse emissions, but that figure is set to rise with the industry becoming the leading contributor to climate change in the developed world if it continues to grow. However climate change campaigners, warned world leaders that the airline industry will account for a quarter of all emissions in the developed world even if emissions is capped at 2005 levels. Greenpeace joined with other campaign groups in calling for more investment in the green technology to offset the effect of airline industry contribution to climate change. This they say would require radical advances in technology that, if they are not achieved, would force airlines to make up the differences to offset markets. According to IATA airlines are expected to lose $11bn this year alone, and that their already weak financial status will be further weakened if stringent carbon permits are put in place.

The Abyss

Friends the airline industry has had it their way for years raking in millions without a care of the damaged being done to the environment, and its effect on global warming. We hear them now shouting for help, not to be severely punished for their lack of concern to what was happening to the climate we all share. They carried on unimpeded with little regard paid to the scientific reports on the issue of carbon emissions or campaigners who progressively voiced their concerns on global warming. World industrialized leaders also ignored the warnings for far too long and are now playing catch up to avert more serious problems on their shores. They seen the violent storms, the changes in weather patters, the destructive forces of nature in otherwise relatively calm weather seasons and they don’t like what they see. So, in a word leaders hands are forced into action by uncontrollable world events, they’ve been forced to look into the abyss and they realized action delayed now is a threat to all nations not just poor ones. However, until world leaders signed on the dotted lines, poorer nations will continue to experience devastated hurricanes, flash floods, famines which is presently killing millions of animals and thousands of people starving in east Africa. The time is ripe for the leaders of the world to stand up and let their voices be heard, shout from the corridors of power, take positive and decisive action to avert further disaster on a world seemingly in a state of slumber. One bit of positive news coming from the summit is that world leaders has agreed a curb on nuclear proliferation, that’s something to shout about isn’t it? Thank God for small mercies.


Climate Change and the United Nations 9 comments

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe Author

Spot on Carmen, no use have an agreement that suits europe but not effective in Africa or America. The news from the europen summit in Brussels this week is that they reached an agreement in principle. We hope the December Copenhagen summit will be wider, more comprehensive and tangible.

Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

Hope will always be alive, but will it be global and enough to actually make a difference? I think the UN has to take a much more proactive role with a lot of issues. The UN was created, I believed, to make a difference and have some reasonable control over nations... what happened?

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe Author

It will indeed be a brave leader who will make the first signifficant move, for others to follow. Many being politicians will think more about how such decisions will affect there economy and vots in the next election.

Samantha 7 years ago

You're right the people of Africa is suffering and the world is holding its breath while world leaders especially developed ones, squabble over who should make the first move

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe Author

Lets pray together that they find the will

Susette 7 years ago

Something positive can happen if the will is there, but many world leaders are more concern with their local economy and creating wealth regardless of the consequences

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe Author

Carmen, I was online when this came through, thanks for your most positive response, and yes doubts remain even among the most hopeful. Yet we must all keep hope alive for something tangible to happen for the sake of our children's generation

Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

Well written, we can only hope our world leaders take positive action, but I seriously have my doubts. Take care, Carmen

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe Author

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had pointed out that unless world leaders can be converted into steadfast supporter of drastic action now, it will be very hard to reach a realistic regulatory treaty to prevent the damaging cost of climate change.

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