The clock is ticking towards next month’s crucial climate change conference in Copenhagen, but there are signs a plan to save the planet may be reached. The conference has been upgraded to summit level, and at least 65 world leaders say they will be there. There is still a gap between developed and developing nations on how to cut greenhouse gases, but optimism is growing.
“While the EU hasn’t lowered the expectations for an agreement regarding content, all the important content should be covered,” said Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren. “We expect all the basic elements to be agreed in Copenhagen.” The EU is today finalising its position, and Denmark’s decision to invite world leaders to Copenhagen is a gamble that their presence will concentrate minds. And there are worrying signs that time is running out fast. A new study shows greenhouse gas emissions from European farming has now exceeded the ability of the region’s forests to absorb it. Under the current Kyoto Protocol, rich countries do not have to include agriculture in their emissions targets. But the planet may now be saying ‘enough is enough.’ An agreement may be reached in Copenhagen but, without legally-binding obligations, critics say it would merely amount to window dressing.