At Copenhagen, A New Context for International Cooperation

04/15/2010 07:14 PM

As world leaders gather in Copenhagen in December for global talks on action to address climate change, Global Footprint Network will host a side event aimed at invigorating the conversation by helping leaders see the self-interest in bold and timely action.

“Most world leaders have not yet recognized that it is in their interest to be the pioneers in climate policy, preferring to take a wait-and-see approach,” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel. On December 9th, Global Footprint Network will host a round-table discussion of high-level policymakers at the Copenhagen headquarters of the European Environment Agency.

The discussion is aimed at demonstrating the self-interest case for governments to act – why there is a strong strategic motive for governments to be pioneers and, conversely, a risk to being the laggards. The discussion will also highlight the emerging importance of biocapacity as a valuable national asset.

Global Footprint Network’s Copenhagen event will give decision-makers the data they need to prepare for a resource-constrained future. Understanding resource trends can help shift the perspective from: “the more we reduce CO2 emissions, the more it will cost us” to “the more we reduce resource consumption, the more healthy our economies will be and the lower our risk will be ”

The European Environment Agency is located at Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen, Denmark. To learn more, contact Rachel@footprintnetwork.org.

Read an article on Ecological Creditors and Debtors in the U.N. Environmental Programme’s Environment and Poverty Times.

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Comments

I am a master student of Roskilde University, and my area is about CDM and CO2 emission reductions, industry chain, international coorperation…

Thank you!

I am a master student of Roskilde University, and my area is about CDM and CO2 emission reductions…

I want to attend this event to promote myself and also the CDM project!

Thank you!

We need so-called leaders to become actual leaders who are capable of making necessary changes and choosing a different path to the future. The distrust, dishonesty, duplicity, double-dealing, diablerie (Axis of Evil), and denial that marked the past 8 long dark years cannot continue.

All the talk about the need for baby steps, steppingstones are needed, a deal is too difficult to reach much less enforce; the chasm between the rich and poor is too wide; slow food is advised, no meat is recommended, eat less tuna; the time left before the Climate Change Conference is too brief, the meeting time of the UNFCCC is too short; because it’s already too late, have the ‘courage’ to do nothing; accept incremental change even though such change amounts to using a water hose to put out a barn-burning fire: it is the best we can do. All of this is silly talk from woefully inadequate, emasculated leaders who are not providing necessary leadership. As we approach the great meetings in Denmark, what is happening so pitifully and timorously is both a shame and a sham, and does not have to be occurring as it is now. The distinctly human-driven global predicament looming before the human family can be approached differently and in better ways.

When the Masters of the Universe among us decided just last year to save the global financial system from collapse and rescue the real world economy from a death spiral into depression, no one took responsibility for anything that had occurred to produce that colossal economic mess and no one made wimpy, half-way proposals or suggested there was nothing that could be done. No way. There was work to be done and they did it.

The integrity of Earth’s body and its environs is at stake now. A colossal ecological mess is already visible on the horizon and awaits the children if we choose now, yet again, not to act ably, responsibly, reasonably, sensibly and humanely.

The window of opportunity to save the planet, life as we know it, and a future for the children remains open. There is still a chance, a ray of hope. People have a choice between taking the “primrose path” to Hell or the less traveled path to Copenhagen.

We know which path the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe have chosen. Time is short but still available, perhaps for a while longer anyway, for human beings with feet of clay among us to speak out loudly and clearly in Copenhagen so that necessary changes occur to rescue the world we inhabit from relentless large-scale overproduction and reckless per-capita overconsumption activities of the Masters of the Universe who are ravaging the Earth and polluting its environs, even as they pretend to be its stewards.

At this late date in November 2009, are we still witnessing a lack of imagination and leadership among human beings with feet of clay as well as the continued ‘success’ of intellectual foolishness, arrogance, deceit and greed by the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe?

Perhaps necessary changes that move the human family toward sustainability will turn the tide in these these last days before the Copenhagen Climate Summit in favor of humanity, a good enough future for children everywhere, and life as we know it.

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