Climate Conference in Copenhagen: Is America Ready to Play Ball?

In the world of climate change gurus, the up coming Copenhagen summit is probably going to be a turning point. If the conference goes on as scheduled and if members at the conference representing a mired of governments all over the world agree on some critical issues on the protocol, it may be possible to resuscitate this document or commitment by countries to help halt the problem of climate change and global warming. The protocol which is scheduled to expire if nothing is done by 2012, calls the attention of governments to the problem of climate change and global warming, and seeks commitment from signatories to the protocol to help advance the objectives of the protocol.

Since the USA was not a signatory to the protocol, you may ask why we should bother. Well, two major developments: 1) there is a new body of knowledge in America that somewhat recognizes the existence of the problem of climate change and global warming. I use the word somewhat here, because there are still some ragging debates regarding the true nature of the problem, and whether we are actually contributing to this problem as ascertained by some scientists, academics and environmentalists; 2) We now have in the White House, someone who understands the problem and has a team of experts who can guide us to better decisions regarding the issue of climate change and global warming. The two developments are important, since they shed some lights on our prior decisions not to join the protocol.

Prior till now America considered the problem of global warming as a fluke. We ignored past efforts in Europe and Asia to bring our attention to the problem. Since we had other interests in mind, we were least disposed to the protocol. With some new research findings, political debates (see contributions from folks at www.350.org), and some enlightenment from former Vice President Al Gore’s movie, which yielded him and his team a Noble Laureate award, we are probably in a situation to entertain some discussion of a support for the Kyoto protocol and its extension beyond 2012.

Thus, come December when government representatives from 170 countries are expected to gather in the Copenhagen Congress Center to discuss a possible extension of the protocol, you may expect the US to send at least a team of observers, if not a contingent of American experts, who may interpret new discussions and relate our current position to the world or relate the present position of other governments deliberating on the extension of the protocol, to our government. No matter what happens in December, we may continue to remain neutral, or we may take a new position based on advisory from our government representatives at the conference. What is rather important though is that America starts to take a leadership role in combating the problem of climate change and global warming. Enough of the dismissal of the existence of the problem!

PS: The committee advancing the December 6th – 18th, 2009 Conference has included the following information on its website:

The conference in Copenhagen is the 15th conference of parties (COP15) in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The recent meeting in United Nations Climate Change Conferences was held in December 2007 in Bali. The address of the secretariat for the Climate Conference is:

COP15
The Climate Secretariat
The Prime Minister's Office
Christiansborg
Prins Jørgens Gård 11
1218 København K
Denmark
Tel (+45) 33 92 33 00, Fax (+45) 33 11 16 65
The Official secretariat of the 15th Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Climate Network
Ehlersvej 11
2900 Hellerup
Denmark
Tel (+45) 39 48 18 10, Fax (+45) 39 48 18 01
A Danish network that will underpin the Copenhagen Climate Summit, thus making the 2009 UN climate summit a success for the benefit of sustainable climate policy. The network will use the period before, under and after the Copenhagen Climate Summit to establish networks among businesses, individuals and organizations supporting a climate policy focusing on the environment.

Copenhagen Climate Council
c/ Mandag Morgen
Valkendorsgade 13
Box 1127
1009 Copenhagen K
Tel (+45) 33 93 93 23, Fax (+45) 33 14 13 94
An initiative founded in May 2007 by a group of business leaders and scientists with the aim of helping make the case for a new global climate treaty that will come into force when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end in 2012
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