Copenhagen Must Be a Turning Point

Copenhagen – that all important gathering of nations to find solutions to climate change is upon us.

In a few weeks, government leaders, NGO’s, civil society groups and interested parties will gather at this Danish city to chart humankind’s response to what could be referred to as the biggest challenge ever to face this planet and mankind since the last ice age.

Copenhagen comes at a time when debate rages among nations on the primary causes of climate change. It appears since the last gathering in Kyoto, Japan, sceptics still abound and in some cases outnumber those who truly believe that carbon emissions are a primary cause of this global scourge.

To say that carbon emissions present a far greater threat to human existence than global terrorism is an understatement of note.

Africa, a small contributor when compared to the big industrial nations, is experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change.

Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced some of the worst droughts to hit this region in a long time. This has had a negative impact on a number of countries, with most unable to produce crops and engage in other forms of agricultural activities to feed their people.

Food security has become the biggest challenge to face the African Continent.

I personally doubt the commitment of most industrialised nations to meet their carbon reduction targets.

Profits seem to have taken a precedent over what is in the best interest of humanity.

It does not take watching a Hollywood blockbuster to realise the impact of climate change on poor nations, especially those on the African continent who have minimal or no resources to manage or respond to major disasters.

It is incumbent on the G8 countries to show leadership in this area. As the worst polluters of the planet, they owe it to all of us and future generations to clean up their act.

Cheap solutions, such as offering carbon credits to the same countries that are victims and allowing big nations to run riot and use strong arm tactics to get away from meeting their responsibilities, is not helpful.

Copenhagen must be a turning point and an opportunity to inaugurate a new dispensation and accord amongst nations who commit to do things differently.

Future generations deserve better.