COP15 In a Nutshell: We've Agreed Not to Do Anything Meaningful at This Time, Maybe Later

cop15 bella center photo

Apologies if you're offended by certain words in images, but it's really apt right now... Photo: Matthew McDermott

There's going to be all sorts of analysis coming out in the next minutes, days, week about what just happened at COP15, but this is my first impression, tempered through some fuming by Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben in the press room here at the Fresh Air Center. The US and the world has essentially agreed to not do anything meaningful about climate change:Five Steps in the Wrong Direction
Incrementalists will no doubt say that this is a first step, but I'm more inclined to agree with the quick comments of Klein, made immediately after the speech: This is actually five steps in the wrong direction. We have gone from having a legally binding treaty in the form of the Kyoto Protocol, albeit one which the US didn't sign on to -- but the US has never played well with pesky things like international law -- to, well, a non-legally binding, semi-aspirational, weak, shove off.

Obama said it will be hard work to arrive at anything legally binding, and hinted that it may be possible in 2010. But I wouldn't hold my breath. I would keep pushing, keep agitating, keep demanding that greater action be taken: Action that is in line with science, conscience and human duty. I urge you to do the same.

We've Got a Sham Agreement
Friends of the Earth nails it:

Climate negotiations in Copenhagen have yielded a sham agreement with no real requirements for any countries. This is not a strong deal or a just one -- it isn't even a real one. It's just repackaging old positions and pretending they're new. The actions it suggests for the rich countries that caused the climate crisis are extraordinarily inadequate. This is a disastrous outcome for people around the world who face increasingly dire impacts from a destabilizing climate.

I am growing to believe that climate change presents an evolutionary opportunity in human consciousness, an opportunity to address lingering inequity, and an profound time where (believe it or not) positive change is very much possible.

Too bad this moment was squandered.

See you all in Mexico...

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