Johann Hari writes in The Independent that, "Our leaders are aren't giving us Hopenhagen - they're giving us Cokenhagen, a sugary feelgood hit filled with sickly additives and no nutrition. Their behaviour here - where the bare minimum described as safe by scientists isn't even being considered - indicates they are more scared of the corporate lobbyists that fund their campaigns, or the denialist streak in their own country, than of rising seas and falling civilisations."
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY?
The Calgary Herald reports that, "the United Nations talks are still stuck on a number of major issues. They include the type of legal framework for the agreement, the toughness of targets for developed countries, adaptation funding for poorer countries, and whether or not there should be hard caps on emissions on developing countries such as China."
"UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said countries are likely to come out of Copenhagen with a set of decisions that launch immediate action on adaptation, preserving forests, industrialized emission targets and financial support for developing countries."
Hari writes, "Forests soak up warming gases and store them away from the atmosphere - so, perfectly sensibly, countries get credit under the new system for preserving them. It is an essential measure to stop global warming. But the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish logging companies have successfully pressured their governments into inserting an absurd clause into the rules. The new rules say you can, in the name of 'sustainable forest management', cut down almost all the trees - without losing credits. It's Kafkaesque: a felled forest doesn't increase your official emissions... even though it increases your actual emissions."
LEGAL TEXT IN 6-12 MONTHS?
De Boer says, "Given the state of play, and given the amount of remaining time, we cannot cast that all in a legal binding agreement here in Copenhagen. We do need to do that within the next six or 12 months in 2010 to really capitalize on what comes out of Copenhagen and turn it into strong legal text."
Hari concludes, "But there is one reason why I am still - despite everything - defiantly hopeful. Converging on this city now are thousands of ordinary citizens who aren't going to take it any more. They aren't going to watch passively while our ecosystems are vandalised. They are demanding only what the cold, hard science demands - real and rapid cuts, enforced by a global environmental court that will punish any nation that endangers us all. This movement will not go away. Copenhagen has soured into a con - but from the wreckage, there could arise a stronger demand for a true solution."
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