By: Muntu Lukhozi
Tensions seem to have deepened further, only hours before the start of the Environmental Ministers meeting in Bali. The battle hinges on whether to include greenhouse gas emission targets guidelines on the framework for a new climate accord or not. This, as countries take a firm stand against the United States and its refusal to budge on greenhouse gas emission cuts.
A Human Development Report tabled at the UN conference has deepened the debate even further, citing major disparities in financing as rich countries invest heavily in climate infrastructure while developing countries are left to deal with their problems.
The day marked the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol - but the party mood was not as jolly as tensions over major issues seemed to push countries further apart. Decorated in forests, renewable energy symbols and solar panels, it would have been better if all were in agreement. There were shocking revelations and statistics on the effect of global warming - part of a confirmation that global warming is no longer an environmental issue but an economic one too.
The report says very little about what developing countries must do to tackle the problem and the reasons are not hard to come by. Global warming is now seen as the biggest security threat.
On the eve of the High-Level Segment of conference, delegates attended a debate session focusing on the UNDP Human Development Report and who should shoulder more responsibility for the problems facing the world now. Earlier, the G77 and China had made a breakthrough on adaptation issues.
The report calls for $86 billion annually to stop the drift towards what it calls 'adaptation apartheid' - simply put...because they have money, rich countries will live comfortably with the effects of global warming while poor countries suffer.
The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 and a new international climate change deal must be put in place in good time. This will ensure that necessary action is undertaken immediately...it is this roadmap that the delegates at this conference must agree on in two day's time...but views have never been so far apart.
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