Copenhagen


In the news, you’ve probably seen a million articles talking about Copenhagen.  What does this mean exactly?

Yesterday, started the 15th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).  It’s a meeting on climate change to follow up the Kyoto Protocol.  The Kyoto Protocol was an international agreement adopted at the end of 1997, as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the world.  The goal was to reduce GHG emissions to the level that they were in 1990.  As of now, 187 national governments have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.  The US has not (this is not to say the US is not doing anything to prevent climate change).

If you click on the Kyoto Protocol link above, it takes you to the UNFCCC website that has a good summary of the Kyoto Protocol and the mechanism of implementation (for some reason I’m a fan of the “carbon market” idea).  Although the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t expire until 2012, preparations are being made for a new program to reduce GHGs.

Since the meeting at Copenhagen just started, I can’t say too much about it.  But I encourage everyone to read the news. Here is the first press briefing (only 2:39 long… pretty short):

Here are a few key points I find particularly interesting and I hope are discussed in Copenhagen:

  • Tension between environmental protection/prevention of climate change and development.  Can we have both?
  • How are we financing this?
  • What are the governance structures and power relationships involved?
  • Where are they looking to cut GHG emissions?  Transportation? Agriculture?

You may be wondering what this has to do with food security… I think it’s a crucial aspect as one of the causes of food insecurity is natural hazards.  Granted the changes in the global climate may be small, but this could effect food production in the future.

Also, food production produces a significant amount of GHGs.  While I don’t think may politicians would promote reducing food production to reduce GHG emissions, it could interesting to see if green agriculture is talked about.

What are your thoughts on Copenhagen?  Are you interested in this or not a whole lot?

Should we be worrying about this now?

I know as a planning student, I’m surrounded by people who feel very strongly about it and are working toward solutions, but I’m always interested in hearing other perspectives.

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4 thoughts on “Copenhagen

  1. ginamastrog says:

    I have been waiting for this conference for a while, so I am definitely interested and it’s awesome that you’ve done a post about this!

    Consider this the Food Systems major perspective 😛 I think we absolutely need to be thinking about this now. I agree with you that food security has a lot to do with this conference. We need to put a focus on getting smaller and developing countries to increase their agricultural production, which is going to take a better use of their natural resources. We’ve all got to learn how to reduce the effects of climate change, which absolutely will effect food production.

    You go girl! With your major, you are going to be able to help a lot of people. 🙂

  2. Karin says:

    I love that you wrote a post about this meeting. I could not agree more with your question – this is also what I’ve been asking myself. I also wonder to which extenx the countries are willing to “save the world”. After all.. Trying to stop the climate change means that the economy is going to suffer.

    • Karla says:

      Interesting that you bring that up, many argue that it won’t hurt the economy because of all the jobs that will be created (so called “green jobs”) in changing infrastructure and such. I’d like to hear more about this 🙂

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