As Durban wrapped up, an agreement was reached to cut emissions. The ‘Durban Platform’ will commit all countries to a global deal on cutting carbon emissions by 2015 . It will come into force, however, in 2020.
The EU agreed to a second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013 as part of the deal in order for the world to have a legal treaty to cut emissions, before 2020. From the outset, the EU was a strong supporter of a legally binding treaty, advocating that voluntary cutting of emissions will not suffice nor guarantee the goals agreed upon in principle.
India, China and the US, the major emitters are now committing to a roadmap a breakthrough which is considered a significant step forward.
Naturally, there are those who see it as too little given the urgency of the problem, but it does show that climate change is still very much alive in global politics. Now, citizens need to step in, to push governments to act faster and more effectively if the politics are to catch up with the science.
The encouraging fact is that the EU remains committed to not only curb emissions but being at the forefront of R&D, renewable energy, setting and reaching targets. The gloom and doom surrounding the euro has not clouded these goals and Europe still leads in the race to tackle climate change.
For all the difficulties, it is clear even at this difficult time, that Europe has come a long way and has a strong voice in global politics. It has a clear agenda on issues that matter and that require global cooperation. It puts its money where its mouth is and backs it’s goals and commitments. It is a mature power which needs to see itself as others see it; as an emerging leader in a multipolar world. Europe must be here to stay… and hopefully the current financial crisis will strengthen it’s commitment to a path of peace and collaboration among nations that share a common history.