World leaders and delegates converged on Lima, Peru two weeks ago and the world watched, once again, as the spectacle of the United Nation’s climate change talks devolved into grandstanding and protests with little substance being the norm. The goal of this COP20 meeting was to create a framework for world nations to build a deal that would replace the accords met in 1997, commonly called the Kyoto Protocols. It appears that the effort has failed, as is the norm at most U.N. climate talks.
Somehow, 10,000 or so delegates from 190 different countries, plus celebrity speech givers such as John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, couldn’t come to an agreement on climate change mitigation. Talks went into overtime Friday night, as reported by the Inquisitr, after the expected announcement of a deal Friday afternoon was not forthcoming. The climate change talks extended into today, but it doesn’t appear anything will come of it.
The sheer number of people involved in COP20 this year was staggering. About ten thousand delegates and hangers-on arrived in Lima by jet, airplane, and bus. More people arrived via boat, train, and plane to surround the talks with protests and activism. Others arrived to protest the protesters and still more were there to call into question the whole point of climate change and the science behind it. The amount of carbon expelled just to rant about climate change itself was likely in the tens of thousands of tons.
At the core of the argument during these COP20 climate change talks was not what needed changing, or even how much change was required. The U.N. has made it clear that the changes required are fairly drastic, to include the ending of coal, oil. and gas as energy sources before the end of the century. No, the core issue is the cost of the proposed measures. The International Business Times reports that this divide over who pays for what stymied the climate change talks nearly from the beginning. It is, after all, that very divide that split the Kyoto agreement in 1997, putting the work on “wealthy” nations while developing nations like China and India got a free pass.
The Age was more blunt with their assessment. “Climate change talks in Lima are on the verge of collapse with claims that countries are being asked to swallow ‘dead rats’ and that an already watered-down deal is now in danger of being turned from a ‘circumcision’ into an ‘amputation.'”
VOA’s Learning English was more hopeful, saying that the unresolved issues over a climate change deal had still left people hopeful.
The next round of climate change talks is scheduled to take place in Paris in 2015.