United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009

Over the intervening period, the world nations had prioritized efforts and initiated programs meant to attain a low-carbon environment in the future generations. Alike all conferences, the subject at the Copenhagen meeting sought to assume a cooperative approach in regenerating a future green world, sparing generations to come from the agony of indescribable climatic conditions. A repeat of the past toothless declarations would be costly for the world environment given the damage emerging from accelerating global warming. Reversing the climatic trend demand a strategic solution to prevent the earth from facing a series of cascading events which would definitely initiate natural disasters with the eventuality of changing life on earth.The ultimate objective of the annual climate change conferences rests on delivering the climatic system from the dangerous influence of everyday human actions, jeopardizing the existence of future life on earth.

For too long, the climatic politics have reshaped and instigated rivalry amongst the developed nations for their large emissions of carbon gases to the climate. In particular, the annual conferences have in the recent past shouldered developed countries of the burden of their resistance to commit to climatic treaties owing to their industrialized economies. Nevertheless, during the preparation of ensuing conferences since the signing the Kyoto Protocol, it is evidently apparent to almost every layman, that developed countries cannot win the battle alone. This arises from the fact that emerging economies are rapidly accelerating their stake of emissions under the business as usual approach. In particular, the West’s ‘Carbon debt’ action by developed countries alone is never enough to tackle climate change, while allowing emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil increasingly emit greenhouse gases (Hudson & Jackson, 2009). Simultaneously, the grand opportunity to reverse the climate change is shrinking faster and further delay will catastrophically widen the global scale of environmental cost coupled with social consequences.

Pre-Conference Mission and Visions of Developed, Developing Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations

Climatic changes affect the whole world no matter the level of connection; the human population has the primary responsibility to fix the challenge.For that reason, building a low carbon environment has to be a shared global priority, involving partnerships between the developed and developing nation governments, as the consequent cost may accelerate beyond the affordable means (Hudson & Jackson, 2009, p. 9).This presents the climatic change as a hot-button challenge demanding a compelling fight from all quarters: developed nations, developing countries and non-governmental organizations in solving the increasing incidences of harsh conditions.

Mission and Vision of United Kingdom before the Copenhagen Summit

Following the signing of the Kyoto Protocol to reverse the increasingly climate change owing to huge emissions of carbon to the environment, the UK has assumed a front line in fighting global warming. Particularly, the pre-summit events reveal the emphasis to which the London government has dedicated to see their target succeed. Firstly, the nation has strongly committed to international climate change politicking through strategic priority founded on legal and institutional framework for cutting carbon dioxide emissions and enhancing the country’s ability to adapt to climate change (OECD, 2010). Here, the nation sight sets on the vision of leading the global efforts in avoiding dangerous climatic changes resulting from human actions. Similarly, through the parliament the nation legally bound to the vision outlined in the Public Service Agreement (PSA) as securing a healthy natural environment for today and the future generations (OECD, 2010, p. 85).

With a comprehensive vision set for the entire nation through various departments, enterprises and reforms, the road to Copenhagen saw the delineation of roles to coerce every sector contribute in the mitigation effort.For instance, the governing council prioritized international mitigation efforts by enabling low-carbon development in developing countries and assisting the multilateral development banks place clean energy frameworks to screen all investment for climate risks (OECD, 2010, p. 85).The front line to sustain the adaptive capacity in the UK got reinforcement through the 2009 white paper outlining the plan and policies to ensure environmental sustainability. In the preparation of the summit, UK maintained its policies and plans within the mission of the government, guided under the mission of a fair and sustainable world environment both in the present and in years to come. Empirically, the climatic change mission sets three priority directions: (i) working towards an ambitious and a fair deal from the Copenhagen process; (ii) supporting mitigation/low carbon development; and (iii) building resilience and supporting adaptation to climate change in developing countries (OECD, 2010, p. 86).

Pre-Summit Mission and Visions of China

For a long-time, China has faced continual criticism for their opposing stance of setting a modest target that allows temperatures to raise above the initial 1.5 o C mark. However, with its growing economy driven by heavy industrialization, the nation is seen to hide under the cover of meeting realistic targets for the developing nations. For instance, in the pre-summit policies, China never relinquished the status of a developing country under the Kyoto protocol despite its industrial power pipping Eurozone nations to a second spot in the world. Factually, though China was yet to unleash its status of the leading emitter of carbon dioxide, it focused on sustaining its billion projects in clean energy. Although China stands the subject of the fierce criticism, it has increasingly focused on cleaning up its heavy polluting industries, restoring its natural resources, promoting energy efficiency and conservation, and investing in renewable energy (Ma, 2010). This has seen china’s vision directed to sustaining their economic growth under a differentiated path of confronting carbon intensity of output per GDP.

Pre-Summit Mission and Visions of Greenpeace Movement

Solving the looming climate crisis demands a collective effort from both the government and non-governmental organizations to protect the future generations from natural catastrophes emerging from the present environmental pollution. For instance, the Greenpeace movement has emphasized its goal by exposing environmental criminals, and challenging the government and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate to safeguard our environment and our future (Radford, 2008, Para 1). The organization commits to non-violent confrontation to expose threats to the environmental well-being through promotion forums meant to sensitize the society on environmental choices. Firmly, throughout the pre-summit the organization maintained its vision calling for system change rather than belabour on climatic change following poor implementation of past deliberations.

Strategic Objectives of participants before the attendance of the Copenhagen summit

The failure of the past declarations on the climatic change issue on excuse for the inaction of member participants in enforcing the deliberations has gradually reshaped the focus of the environmental sustainability. For that reason, most participants have devised their individual strategic measures to cut the greenhouse-gas emissions as a looming crisis that may paralyse future global activities. Typically, the growing demand of expanding industries for the developing nations is increasingly accelerating the rate of greenhouse gas emissions beyond the Kyoto protocol limit. This demands quick response measures from the developing and developed nations to solve the situation before it gets out of hand.

Firstly, China responded in crafting a diplomatic tactic utilizing voluntary carbon-intensity-based targets, replacing mandatory and quantified emissions cuts and ease international pressure (Gang, 2010, p. 56).Here, the country seeks to reduce the carbon intensity in a scale of gross domestic output rather than limit itself to the mandatory requirements outlined in previous conferences. Secondly, as the second largest consumer of energy, China resulted in the application of green measures of solving energy resource depletion to readdress looming crisis including climatic change, serious energy shortage and inefficient use of limited energy reserves (Gang, 2010, p. 57).This is tailored alongside the approach to increase the utilization of renewable energy sources from 7% to 15 % in 2015. In addition, China has committed to afforestation resulting in the world largest man-made forest cover.Lastly, despite committing to reducing its overall emissions, the country has remained steadfast to the growth-first strategy which has seen the government decisive actions to support and subsidize clean-energy industry (Gang, 2010, p. 58).

On the other hand, the United Kingdom road to Copenhagen emerged with the integration of climate change with developmental co-operation. In particular, the country focused on additional funding to promote attainment of millennium developmental goals. Principally, the mainstream activities were streamlined to improve capacity allowing environmental management both in the domestic and international arena. Besides the budgetary support, the country has prioritized environmental screening on how its central policies promote environmentalism under a pilot program developing national strategies with partner countries such as India and Rwanda (OECD, 2010, p. 81).

Similarly, Greenpeace movement has reshaped the struggle towards a low-carbon environment through key strategies to pursue its main goals. Modestly, it has stuck to the civil disobedience strategy through non-violent confrontation to appeal more mass media reportage and international support in fighting various forms of environmental degradation. However, the nature of international environmentalism has led to a transformed organization incorporating moderate policies including attracting more passive financial supporters, taking the role of a lobbyist in both domestic and international decision-making processes and providing scientific environmental reports (Susanto, 2007, p. 186).

General Strategies and Recommendations for the Participants

Committing too much effort to comply with the conference declarations has often misdirected the participants in past meeting away from the critical purpose of reversing the climatic change. For instance, the Copenhagen conference came under sharp criticism from developing world delegates following the convention of a small group of powerful countries to draft an accord for the rest of the world to accept (Clegg, Carter, Kornberger, & Schweitzer, 2011). Nevertheless, there is a need to plan beyond the meeting deliberations for each participant to actively solve climatic change. For instance, the Greenpeace movement should commit most promotional activities to sensitize industrial sectors embrace renewable energy to protect the society from destructions arising from global warming. At this point, initiating programs for the industries to enhance energy efficiency and protect existing rainforests from deforestation will assist the participants reduce the level of emissions. However, this would require conducting national commitment through technology investment to permit flow of capital resources to renewable energy projects.

Similarly, changing the existing system features is ideal to implement the conference declarations realistically rather than commit to mandatory commitments drafted by a few members. For example, the Chinese government must change the existing approach often perceived by the rest of the world as standing in the way of realizing emission cut. Empirically, China should embrace a more active policy to ensure application of clean energy and reduce the emission arising from coal energy pollution. Practically, accepting international emission caps may hamper the nation’s economic powerhouse through a carbon tax, while ignoring the worsening environmental challenge exposes the productive regions in the coastal region to rising sea-level. For that reason, China should incorporate voluntary carbon-intensity levels as a direct substitution for emission cap obligations to alleviate the increasing pressure to abide to conference declarations. In addition, China and UK should enhance strategic solidarity within the multilateral blocs beyond the UN conference track rather than stick to standalone strategies that have failed to yield significant impact.

Like many environmental problems, climatic change arises from destructive human actions emerging since the industrialization innovations which have accelerated the emission beyond the natural capacity. This demands the participants to realize the impact of human behaviour in the present crisis rather than commit to arresting the changing weather patterns without addressing the root cause of the problem. The inherent climatic change is interconnected to human activities which unless addressed comprehensively, scientists alone will not deliver the anticipated results. Subsequently, the Greenpeace movement should prioritize learning the human behaviour and enlightening individuals to shun their harmful actions rather than focus on the government, since it only solves the problem partially. All through the conferences, the delegates have often failed to obtain the explanation why certain nations implement clean energy policies while others fail to honour the deliberations despite their good intentions.Consequently, the input of psychological science will assist learning the human behaviour to craft solutions that will complement expertise climatic solutions such as carbon taxes and efficient power plants.

Formulating a comprehensive adaptation strategy for the entire world to implement may seem ideal in the international scope though hand to implement given the discrepancies arising from different development paths.In view of that, internationalizing the response to climate change is complex for the scientific output or government succeed as a lone ranger. This demands a system change in the two nations to provide foresight to the problem through partnerships with a resilient approach incorporating internal mitigation efforts within the societal level. Primarily, this would seek to provide proactive interventions which minimize projectrisk by weighing the costs and benefits of potential response while evaluating the risk of their failure. Social mobilization will pay the effort under a shared global approach to incorporate the public and the private sectors in the government initiated projects to save the future generations from natural catastrophes.

Decision Making Approach for the Success of the Copenhagen Summit

Generating the real pathway for the delegates to adopt in saving the world prone crisis requires a systematic approach in defining the problem, gathering information, applying ethical standards, and evaluating alternative courses of actions for the participants to follow in their choices. Nevertheless, applying the decision format above demand significant attempt to fairness during the deliberations, by allowing all participants assume an active role rather than leave it for a few powerful nations dominate the conference. Typically, providing quick responses is highly idolized for generating faster solutions but not always the case, with the conclusion of past conferences failing to yield substantial measures to stop catastrophic climatic change. In particular, past conferences have been characterized with mutual recriminations, blocked negotiations and closed-door deals with half-hearted pledges between the developing and developed nations.

Factually, lack of reaching a common agreement to tackle the challenge of climate change helps no single country, but subjects the world population to the unprecedented destruction of lives and economic loss. For that reason, the right decisions in Copenhagen would put the world on the secure trajectory on the way to de-carbonization, deliver clean energy security and reduce geopolitical tensions. On the other hand, wrong decisions only make the situation impossible to limit the rise in global temperatures to 20 C, condemning the world to a high risk of catastrophic climate change (Mabey, 2009, p. 3). Applying the Kidder’s Ethical checkpoint approach would benefit the conference proceedings and bring lacking order in the confusing remedies.

Firstly, the participants need to recognize there lies an enormous challenge,whose cost is huge for the entire world to bear in the future. This step is critical for the developed nations identify with the problem they face. For instance, the UK position in the Euro zone is vulnerable to climate change-driven instability on its borders, implying it has the most to fear of all developed countries of uncontrolled climate change (Mabey, 2009, p. 2). On the other hand, China amongst other developing countries within the mindset of Kyoto protocol faces potential devastating disruptions from climatic changes. Accommodating the international agreement to bind the industries to emission caps will hamper the nation’s economic growth. Simultaneously, the rising sea-level in the Coastal China triggered by global warming is higher than the global average and threatens China’s coastal economic powerhouse (Gang, 2010, p. 6).Consequently, the participants must collaboratively address the challenge affecting the entire world as its ignorance will haunt the global accomplishments in the future.

Importantly, the participants should determine the actor in mitigating the progressive challenge. At this point, all participants should agree that eliminating the looming climate catastrophic change should be the global priority both at the international and domestic mitigation level. Therefore, yielding to international call through emission caps is unavoidable given the worsening environmental challenge whose consequences would erase global economic progress. Thirdly, gathering the relevant facts on the emission levels of each of the participants will ease the process of establishing the reduction measures rather than tie countries to mandatory limits. Besides, conducting right-versus-wrong issues tests will solve the dilemma facing developing nations such as China, owing to their growth-first strategy and the increasing international pressure for them to reduce their emission levels. This would prevent crashing of the optimism wave against the rock of global influence politics which often leads to toothless declarations (Lynas, 2009, para. 14).

Again, the participants must conduct right-versus-right tests to generate a common accord which does not portray favouritism of the powerful members against the developing nation delegates. Notably, laying the undecorated facts against international partnership loyalty would solve the crisis under a common accord presented with an increasing sense of responsibility rather than mandatory documents. Additionally, the participants should weigh national growth focus against the international needs of solving climatic change. Next, applying an ethical principle for the participants will involve a combination of communitarian and utilitarianism perspectives to incorporate various styles including arational, rational and collaborative with key external influences. Ideally, looking for a third approach yielding alternative solutions besides compulsory emission caps would suitably bring the competing factions of industrial growth and cutting emissions together. At this point, participants should embrace moral courage and moral sensitivity in reaching a decision after wrestling the problem under critical analysis. Since decisions are never made in a vacuum, the delegates need to be cognizant of decision context and its multiple dimensions which could encompass features from the cultural, social, community, organizational, informational and temporal risks (O’Sullivan, 2010, p. 10).This requires application of a three- style decision making approach:arational, collaborative and rational perspective and consequently synthesizing them with primary influences.

Conclusion

Under the guidance of a common accord of stopping and reversing the climatic trend, member countries have often sought strategic solutions to prevent the earth from facing a catastrophic climate change. This arises from the increased awareness of the impact of natural disasters with a consequence of changing life on earth. The ultimate objective of the annual climatic conferences rests on delivering the climatic system from the dangerous influence of everyday human actions, jeopardizing the existence of future life on earth.However, realization of that objective requires the participants to ease the burden arising during deliberations owing to their geopolitical tensions. Primarily, both developed and developing countries are vulnerable to looming climatic crisis which would erase the existing economic growth. For that reason, the global priority on crafting diplomatic tactics supported by voluntary carbon-intensity targets beyond the conference mark, would deliver a low-carbon economy and avoid recriminations arising from inaction of some nations.

References

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