Getting the World’s Attention

1256591563News 1© TckTckTck

The TckTckTck campaign is bringing together 39 nonprofits, unions, religious groups and other organizations to demand a serious, binding agreement in respect to limiting climate change from world leaders at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (or “COP15”) in December. They’ve gotten more than 2,600,000 signatures from across the globe including France, New Zealand, Argentina and India, and they’re hoping to raise awareness of the critical nature of this conference before the December 7-18 meetings. Time is running out, the group says (as evidenced by the campaign’s name) and bold action is needed. The COP15 climate talks are an opportunity for world leaders to craft a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, the initial global warming treaty which the U.S. declined to sign and which is set to expire in 2012.

“Copenhagen stands as our single greatest opportunity to reverse climate change,” says the TckTckTck website. “Reaching agreement on a strong deal in Copenhagen is urgent; the impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world. There is still time to build a greener, safer world but the clock is ticking.”

Unfortunately, the latest news on Copenhagen is that not much of substance is expected to emerge—rather, countries will likely commit to “incremental changes” but not a serious, binding treaty, according to a recent New York Times article. Apparently, world leaders feel there’s simply not enough time to craft a comprehensive, legally binding treaty and would rather use the December talks to lay the groundwork for a future agreement. One issue delaying an international treaty is the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass climate and energy legislation, such as a cap-and-trade bill, that sets significant limits on emissions. Such a U.S. bill is seen as an important precursor, ensuring other nations that the U.S. is ready to take a leading role on curbing climate change.

The TckTckTck campaign’s goals for a new, stronger follow-up to Kyoto include setting limits on global greenhouse gas emissions so that they peak no later than 2017 and then decline sharply to less than 350 parts per million carbon dioxide; reducing developing countries’ emissions by at least 40% by 2020, and reaching an agreement that is legally binding and enforceable. The organization plans to submit its list of names to the Secretary General of the U.N. and to Heads of State prior to the talks to indicate the global community’s commitment to real climate action.

SOURCES: New York Times; TckTckTck.