Climate Change:Victimisation Of A Generation By Another

Environment December 16, 2013

The gravity of a problem starts being noticeable when even enemies get together in order to put an end to it. Climate change is a natural fact that is becoming more dangerous by the day, threatening the well being and safety of human life in general, apart from their religion, nationalities and culture. Therefore, its negative impact doesn’t differentiate between developed and developing countries; when it comes to risks, all countries are on the same boat, a realistic fact that led to the creation of the First World Climate Conference (WCC) in 1979.

Thirty four years have passed since this conference took place as an international acknowledgement of the global impact of climate change, a stepping stone in a long battle that produced a considerable number of negotiations leading to The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Warsaw on November 2013.

The logo of the UNFCCC translates perfectly the message to be spread, regarding the responsibility on an individual level. Whereas the green circle represents the “responsible” individual willing to raise awareness amongst other members of its community on the importance of adopting environmental-friendly behaviours, that can lead to a decrease in the negative impact of climate change.

In other words, climate change should become everybody’s business, everyone is responsible from the public sector, to companies, civil society, and even consumers that nowadays have the choice to make a responsible choice, by evolving into a conscious consumer.

The aim of this Convention is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases; the main environmental pollutant due to industrial interference conducted by humans. As a result of that, controlling the CO2 emission will help reduce the fast development of climate change and its damaging impact by limiting the effect of climatic extremes.

Deforestation that is contributing at 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year, was one of the concerns discussed at the conference due to the importance of forests as regulators of the amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. As a tentative solution to this problem, the “ Warsaw Framework for REDD+” created a fund as a significant contribution to forest preservation in developing countries. As a second step in the support system offered to developing countries, the “Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage” was created in order to support developing countries in their struggle against Climate change like the Philippines and Vietnam, in desperate need for urgent action.

This support to developing countries was translated through a series of adaptation programs implemented on a national level in order to enhance the level of well-thought decisions leading to measurable results. Results that can portray the intensity of the impact on the environment, making the prevention and adaptation process more of a tailored response to the problem, rather than a random and spontaneous reaction. Therefore one of the goals on the action plan was the setting of the markets for the emission trading system that consists on putting a price on carbon emissions. These emissions are rising worldwide and with them world temperature, causing the negative effect of global warming.

The concept consists on the big polluters paying more, to get an allowance to pollute from countries having a smaller carbon footprint. Some would argue that taxation and simple regulation obtained through efficient public policies would serve as an incentive for decreasing carbon emissions, because the bargaining approach cannot be used to address the problem of pollution. It is a challenge that should be seen through a wider scope using the multi-criteria analysis that considers all the general factors, in opposition to the environmental valuation that by fixing a price on nature, fails to reflect the real value of it.

The UNFCCC Conference closed on a positive note, inviting all the countries to comply to this international commitment, as a guarantee for its success.

Given that these climate talks were a step forward towards the new climate agreement scheduled to take place in Lima and Paris in 2014-2015, governments have to prepare a draft text for their vision of a new universal climate change.

“Some things can’t wait”, this say serves as a reminder that time is our enemy when it comes to climate change, therefore prioritising is a must when the issue we are trying to solve concerns our existence.

*Rima El Khoury comes from a background in Political Science and International Relations. She holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility from EOI (Escuela de Organizacion Industrial) in Madrid.