Friday, December 23, 2011 ,
Cimate deal ‘only postponed action’
Environmentalists warn that the international climate change treaty signed earlier this month in South Africa postponed urgent action that needed to be taken.
In the aftermath of a marathon UN climate conference in Durban, Malta welcomed the outcome where all 194 countries agreed to come up with binding actions by 2015, to start being implemented in 2020.
For environmentalist Alfred E. Baldacchino, however, this was another agreement to “postpone for tomorrow what should have been done yesterday”.
“The economic concept of world political leaders has no remorse for life on the planet and is happy to postpone to 2020 when most of them will not be around,” he said.
Mr Baldacchino said world politics seemed to be driven by postponements. In the meantime, he added, it was “business as usual and everybody is happy with a smile on the face, featured in all political photos”.
“Didn’t somebody once say that procrastination is the thief of time,” he asked.
The Durban deal might have rescued this round of UN climate talks from the brink of collapse and failure but did it make any step forward in rescuing life on this planet, he wondered.
George Debono warned that time was running out before the world reached the point of no return and, yet, the meeting Durban did not result in a treaty.
“Both scientific predictions and visible evidence of climate change are becoming more persuasive but the issue has been sidelined yet again by short-term vested interests and denial by sceptics,” he said.
Dr Debono believes that, in the absence of a general agreement, it is unlikely anything concrete will take place for another decade, even if such a deal is reached in 2015, because it would take years for action to start yielding results.
“During this time we will continue to add some 50 billion tons of greenhouse gases to our planet’s atmosphere every year and irreversibly tip the balance against the planet,” he said.
The British Medical Association and other scientific bodies stress that climate change represents an immediate threat to human health and the ultimate threat to human survival.
“While Malta is a small player in the global climate stakes, reduction of fossil fuel combustion by our energy generation plants and transport will yield immediate health benefits to our population,” Dr Debono noted.
Amid the international criticism of the protocol, which excludes theUS and China, the Durban treaty was dealt another blow after Canada announced it was pulling out of the deal.
Dr Debono said the irony was that “the catastrophic consequences of failure today will be most felt by the poorest and most vulnerable inhabitants of our planets and it is these that, unlikeChina,IndiaandCanada, are least responsible… And, let us not delude ourselves,Maltawill also be severely hit.”
Why was this piece kept out until very late in the day? Who are these “environmentalists” who paint so gloomy a picture of those great European victories at Durban that have given ‘extreme satisfaction’ to Minister George Pullicino? They must have been referring to climate change on Venus, which, as everyone knows is now a “runaway greenhouse”. They are just like those silly people at the East Anglia Climate Change Centre, who have just suggested that the 49% increase in CO2 emissions since 1990 (the base year for ), and the apparent unwillingness of this rate to go down, is a bad augury for our chances of avoiding catastrophic and irreversible climate change. With our Ministers and Climate Change Ambassadors, how can we take these “environmentalists” seriously.