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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

COP-15 has come to a close, not with a bang, but with a whimper. As anticipated, the proceedings fell far short of a new binding agreement on international greenhouse gas mitigation to avoid dangerous climate change. In essence, the international community simply agreed to continue to work toward a low-carbon world, without necessarily specifying the pathway or those responsible for leading the way. As such, nations have largely agreed to do what was originally agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention in 1992. That's not much progress for almost 20 years of policy development. Given the amount of money and energy invested in hosting the conference and transporting its various attendees from different corners of the world, one wonders whether the climate would have been better off if everyone had simply remained at home. One also wonders whether the continued failure to produce a robust international effort on mitigation will spur more regional to local efforts around adaptation.

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