With the COP17 talks coming to an end, it seems that no agreement will be made on a climate change deal. But there is no need to be downbeat on the outcome as countries have ambitious and better climate strategies. Charlotte Reid tells us why.
Throughout our coverage of the climate talks in Durban, it has always seemed unlikely that an agreement would be made over reducing carbon emissions. Now, just days before the conference will come to a close, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says an agreement “may be beyond our reach – for now”.
Speaking to diplomats about how the COP17 negotiations had gone so far, Ki-moon said the climate change agreement had been overshadowed by the economic situation occurring in countries.
At the beginning of the conference, diplomats from developing countries were encouraged to protest to highlight the lack of urgency in the climate talks.
The former president of Costa Rica, José María Figueres, was calling for diplomats from developing countries to occupy the climate change talks, similar to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Speaking to OneWorld TV, Figueres said, “So with respect to climate maybe we need an Occupy Durban, a sit in by the delegations of the countries that are most affected that are going from one COP to the next COP to the next COP without getting positive and concrete responses on the issues that they want dealt with”.
However, what actually happened at the climate talks was Canada started to consider withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol and India refused to make any agreements out of fear that it will undermine their growing economy.
It is important to address the impact of climate change, as a number of reports released throughout the conference highlighted. Some of the reports said that the poorest countries face starvation and there were warnings of what effect a rise in global temperature will have on the planet.
Although the talks at Durban might not be going well, there is still hope. A new EIRIS report says that 95% of South African companies have some response towards climate change.
The top 40 companies in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have shown better strategies and more disclosure on climate change.
Corli le Roux, legal counsel and head of SRI index at the JSE, says this is encouraging and it gives, “Plenty of scope remains for engagement, as failure to address climate change could damage reputations and profitability as more significance is given to climate change by investors and other key stakeholders.”
Likewise, even developed countries have ambitious projects, with Scotland trialling a new turbine in a bid to become 100% renewable by 2020, and Denmark announcing a similar aim to be 100% renewable by 2050.
Last week, the UK Government announced that it is over achieving on its carbon cutting targets, which have fallen by a quarter since 1990.
Although there may not be a global agreement to help fight climate change, consider the think-tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, which told Blue & Green Tomorrow that if you are going to act sustainably, to do it yourself, rather than rely upon Government policy that forces you to change your ways.
If you want to know more about how to help the environment then ask your financial adviser about ethical investment, or you can use our online form and we’ll find one for you. If you want to know more about being environmental with your energy then get in touch with Good Energy.
Picture source: World Economic Forum