Optimism is growing that next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen may produce a plan to save the planet.
65 world leaders, including many from western Europe, have said they will be at the meeting, where it is hoped the presence of so many prominent figures will concentrate minds. The European Union has been finalising its position today, and negotiators believe a deal could be close. UN Climate negotiator Ivo de Boer said: “Today there are only 13 days left before the climate change conference begins in Copenhagen. And there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that it will yield success. There do remain sticking points and hard issues to be resolved, but I believe these can be resolved. And I believe that the EU will play a crucial role in achieving success and determining the level of ambition in Copenhagen.” There are worrying signs that the time for talking is running out fast. A new study shows that greenhouse emissions from European farming have now exceeded the ability of Europe’s forests to absorb it. The current Kyoto Protocol allows rich countries to exclude farming emissions from their targeted cuts. But the planet may now be saying ‘enough is enough.’ An agreement may well be reached in Copenhagen, but without legally binding obligations, critics say it will merely be window dressing.