The BBC news website’s environment correspondent has cheekily shown up that nations inadvertently agreed to immediately stop all CO2 emissions at Rio (by agreeing to “prevent further ocean acidification”), and thus surely it was highly successful… but in reality there is:
There are no:
People in developing countries will continue to not have clean water, resources will continue to be plundered unsustainably, and the climate will continue to warm.
There was some progress on marine protected areas and illegal fishing, but overall the results were probably not worth the emissions of all the delegates who flew in.
So we have the reaction:
How do we move forward from here? How do we get the consensus we need? How do we get more politicians around the world making not just speeches like David Cunliffe’s, but acting on them? Setting the targets and the plan behind them to avoid the brutal logic of climate change:
Right now, global emissions are rising, faster and faster. Between 2000 and 2007, they rose at around 3.5 percent a year; by 2009 it was up to 5.6 percent. In 2010, we hit 5.9 percent growth, a record. We aren’t just going in the wrong direction — we’re accelerating in the wrong direction. […]
If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. […]
The science is in and we can’t avoid a dangerous 2 degree rise, and we’re on target for at least a 6 degree one. Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change in Britain:
“a 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable.”
But still we trudge on, leaving it to voluntary agreements of odd countries and companies, which cannot possibly be enough.