Preparations for the Copenhagen Climate change meeting in Denmark next week are drawing nearer by the day. The outcome will depend on who is most convincing.
Previously, finding a solution to climate change has always been a heated debate on cutting CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
With the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere other problems are beginning to get overshadowed. Developing countries are vigorously striving for development, and this implies an increase in the number of industries that will be built.
This will definitely lead to more CO2 being released into the atmosphere, and then the cycle of global warming and carbon depletion will keep on repeating itself.
When it comes to who should pay for the climate change damage, the developed world agrees that they are responsible. However, the developing countries have only been convincing on this aspect. In actual sense, the real price to pay is what the Copenhagen meeting will address.
It will be interesting to see if states agree on whether they will pay the Carbon Credits as proposed in the Kyoto Protocol.
If they do agree, then developing countries will have much to jubilate about. However, the burden of reducing the effects of climate change will begin; almost like a new chaotic order.
Africans who comprise the biggest percentage of the developing world, will have to get on their feet and start working hard. As a matter of fact, enormous chunks of land will be priority if forests are to be planted.
Luckily, the nature of Africa’s topology and weather is the most conducive to breed billions of trees. But then where will the population be placed? Without dwelling on this, consider the fact that development in all socio-economic aspects is, the number one and most urgent goal for each single state in this world.
CO2 will always be a child of development; children have never been bad, but, the way they are nurtured is what makes them sweet little angels or evil brain racking spoilt brats!
The same is true with CO2 emissions, when regulated this compound is directly useful to the planet and to man, but the opposite is a disaster—global warming and dimming is a live example.
Now that the world battles with this spoilt brat of CO2 emissions, created by the industries in the developed world, it’s now a collective responsibility for every state to annually reduce a significant amount of these emissions from the atmosphere.
The positive side is that, it becomes a win-win situation if the Carbon Credit strategy works out.
The politics of climate change should not fail. In order to confront the central problem the world needs to forge a framework that works fairly.
To be successful, whatever strategy of fighting climate change is agreed on, it must be not only fair, but also effective.
Imposing severe restrictions on the other hand, will severely limit the GDP growth in the developing world and as a result hold back their ability to climb out of poverty-- the ultimate goal they are striving to achieve.
If developing countries are allowed to grow, there will be an equivalent mitigation of their growth in their carbon emissions.
This implies that the amount of CO2 emissions will double around the world in next decade if Africa, and other developing countries are to climb the ladder of economic development that matches that of the developed countries.
This only poses a dilemma to a global problem. The Copenhagen meeting has to devise a fair strategy that encourages growth in the developing world, but also at the same time implements environmental protection by allowing safe carbon-emission levels, which cannot be avoided.
Gloria I. Anyango is a journalist with The New Times