Friday, January 28, 2011

UN 'shift in focus' on climate change

The Guardian reports about an interesting development within the UN leadership. UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon no longer thinks an international agreement is realistic in the coming years. The new focus is paying more attention to national 'realities on the ground', and also giving higher priority to sustainable development. I think this is a positive sign.
Political realism seems to prevail as leaders realize the futility of hanging on to their old strategy. Remember Ban Ki-Moon two years ago conjuring up the prospect of catastrophic consequences leaving us just 10 years to act?
Ivo de Boer, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has this to say about the change in strategy:
This is sorely needed for two reasons. First because the fight to combatclimate change can only be won successfully if the economics of this can be argued and demonstrated convincingly. Secondly because the UN system does need to adjust to the emerging challenges the world is facing. The UN currently has no platform where governments can discuss energy issues. Environment, industry and development policy are fragmented over different institutions. The UN's relationship with its financial arm, the World Bank, also needs significant strength.
A shift in focus now can bring the UN new relevance and an opportunity to force some urgently needed change.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What does "sustainable development" exactly mean? Is there a scientific consensus what has to be done?

Did anyone ever really think about it? What ressources do we really have to protect or to recycle?

What can we find in the neighbourhood of the earth? If humanity would for ever be trapped on this planet what would be the first steps to take (in a scientific way of thinking)?

Climate? Biological diversity? Food supply? Pension schemes? Birth control? Protection of resources? Recycling? National health insurance? Overfishing?