As international talks and negotiations aimed at putting in place measures to control climate change came to a close on Friday this ending week in Bali, Indonesia, it was apparent that consensus on how to deal with the issues of green house and other industrial emissions may be likely this time round.
Climate change in recent times has been induced by human activities specifically aimed at development.
Recent industrial activities especially in the industrialized countries of the world have played a great role in causing climate change. This kind of development oriented industrialization is not taking into consideration the parameters required in achieving sustainable development.
Sustainable development activities that seek to bring about industrialization, that does not affect the climate in form of adverse climatic change can be adopted by all the countries of the world. This would make life for future generations a worthwhile opportunity.
If not checked, climate change could easily create a situation where a raw material like water become incredibly scarce and unavailable for most of our generations yet to come.
The point of contention in the talks that ended in Bali centered on how the post Kyoto Protocol international consensus on climate change can be realized. It should be recalled that the Kyoto protocol was a set of resolutions that were adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It was aimed at having the developed countries of the world commit themselves to stabilize Green House Gas emissions.
This was seen as a way of eliminating human induced climate change. Though a number of the developed countries ratified the Kyoto protocol, a number of them like the United States of America have up to now failed to ratify the protocol. This has been widely condemned by most nations especially the developed countries of Europe now organized under the European Union.
The European Union has been advocating for industrialized countries to cut on their emissions. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the new draft proposes that all countries –developed ones at that- accept the fact that, they should take the leading responsibility in stabilization of Green House Gas emissions.
This is a fact that in my view should have been acknowledged, long time ago by countries that lead in emitting hazardous substances in form of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere out of their industrial activities. This is a fact that has been acknowledged by leading environmental campaigners like former United States vice President Al Gore.
A number of the developing countries of the world are well ahead of the developed western countries especially in the western hemisphere like the US in as far as engendering sustainable development is concerned. Of course some pundits can argue and firmly assert that this is due to the fact that developing countries do not have a large and formidable industrial base like the industrialized countries.
To some people, this can explain why developing countries do not pose a high risk in terms of causing climate change. Of course there are some activities like encroachment on wet lands and bush burning that can cause or facilitate the above scenario.
But it is also clear to all and sundry that some countries have taken clear steps towards environmental protection and by infection forestalling climate change. Rwanda in it development and transformation vision 2020 has clearly made sustainable development a focal point on which to base some aspects of Rwanda’s transformation and development process.
Any country that ignores the call to protect the environment in the interest of protecting capitalist industrialists forsakes the future of their children yet to be born. In countries like Rwanda that have set the pace in this direction, it is out of a visionary leadership that has been able to put such high ideals into the national development agenda.
A consensus on the future of the world as seen through the lenses of climate change will largely depend on the willingness of the political leaders of the world. It is one thing to adopt resolutions on any issue of international concern and yet another implementing it. It takes political will and national leaders to hold this key-political will.
Again the people who empower politicians with leadership have also a card they hold. People should always put in positions of leadership those leaders that have the best programs including good environment practices.