12/19/2009, 00.00
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Copenhagen, the last attempts against a flop

The long awaited international summit on climate change is coming to an end without any major commitment. One draft speaks of 80% reduction by 2050, a figure that seems impossible. Sceptics: “Think instead of curing the global problems of malaria or hunger".

Copenhagen (AsiaNews) - Generic political and non-binding position, and the promise to meet again in Bonn in 2010 for another new general meeting, this is the outcome so far from the last plenary session of the international meeting on climate change sponsored by the United Nations in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, there is the sceptical environmentalists’ suggestion: "Think about healing the world from malaria, rather than throwing money at unattainable goals". In all likelihood, the formal decisions will only be made known during the night. In the meantime drafts of the final resolution, which world leaders are discussing, are circulating. By late evening they were already on their fourth draft, but without reaching any definite conclusion. Some of the great speakers in the past two days had already began to abandon Copenhagen.

In the drafts that have been reviewed so far, the 150 leaders "welcome the scientific opinion that the rise in global temperature should not exceed two degrees centigrade. Based on the principle of equity in the context of sustainable development, the parties agree to an immediate and vigorous response through strengthened national action based on enhanced international cooperation".

Massive reductions in global emissions, the text continues, "are necessary. The parties must cooperate in establishing as soon as possible the peak in emissions, while recognizing that progress by developing countries will be slower and taking into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the main priorities of these countries and that moreover developing a low-emission is necessary for sustainable development. "

 The document thus contains the so-called Annex 1 (goals for rich countries) and Non-Annex 1 (targets for developing countries). The countries cited in Annex 1 "hereby undertake to reach an emissions cap for 2020 compared to 1990 and compared to 2005”. According to an indiscretion, the Annex 1 is around 80%. But this figure is not accepted by the U.S., which instead is pushing developing countries - especially China – to take important steps.

Finally, the section on funding: "The Parties take note of the pledges by individual developed countries to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010-2012. The parties support the objective of jointly mobilized 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to meet the needs of developing countries (DCs) in the fight against climate change. This funding will come from a different set of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of funding".

 Today, the U.S. president Barack Obama stressed that the United States was ready to find 100 billion U.S. dollars a year to help developing countries to commit to a reduction in carbon emissions, but only if there in fact are ways to control the promised reductions. This pits Obama against China which instead sees this element of control as "an attack on their sovereignty." However the draft shows that developed countries undertake to provide 100 billion dollars a year until 2020 to help developing countries.

Precisely this point has triggered the ire of skeptics. Based on the infamous ClimateGate, the scandal that has affected environmental researchers discovered making up the data on global warming, many wonder whether it is correct to allocate these and other funds for this problem. And the case of Al Gore, guru environmentalist and herald of ecologists, who quoted a scientist to support his theories only to be denied by the very same scientist, does not help.

Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," has written in these days: "Take malaria. Many studies argue that, if we do nothing, 3% of world population is at risk of disease by 2100. In contrast, spending $ 3 billion a year, we can cut the victims and infection rate. But leaders prefer to spend on the climate. Yet one study shows that, with the money with which we could perhaps save a life from climate change, you can save with certainty 78 thousand people. "

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