Climate change | Pakistan Today

Climate change

Durban Conference makes headway

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or, that’s what the human race’s abode, the earth, is telling us in the form of climate change. After consuming its resources without any regard to what the end result might be, it was only logical that a number of environment-related problems crop up, forcing us to reconsider how we treat mother nature.

The Durban Conference was meant to answer these questions and more. Much to the relief of every concerned stakeholder, the conference was successful in delivering some output. After what happened to the Kyoto Protocol, nobody was in favour of a reprisal and to ward off any such fate, an improvised roadmap for a global climate pact has been agreed upon which would bring China and India under its umbrella, world’s number one and number three carbon polluters. A troubling matter for some is the timeline offered in the accord as 2015 has been set for its completion and 2020 for its enforcement. Many critics do not agree with this timeframe, asking for an earlier and more responsive action.

Given the intricacies involved in ascertaining exactly how the climate might change, what impact it might have on us and industrialised states’ reluctance in ceding some of the gains they have made, the conference did achieve some remarkable goals. A Green Climate Fund, for one, is an achievement if it is implemented in time. The Fund is expected to spend at least $100 billion per year help poor nations cope with climate change. But the issue of who will foot the bill and how remains yet to be resolved, and that could be a real challenge. Lucky for the poor nations as the Kyoto Protocol has seen another life. Though the US, world’s number two carbon polluter, has opted out of the only legally-binding treaty, the EU and some other nations have pledged a new round of CO2 emissions cuts.

Whatever approach we adopt to handle this issue would be useless unless a common framework is developed to bring the developed and developing nations where despite their industrial disparity they are comfortable in working together. This conference has set course right, but smooth sailing? Only time will tell.

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