With the Doha summit now concluded, with only very modest achievement, there is growing consensus that a faster response toclimate change is desperately needed. This is especially so when the science and physical impacts of global warming are telling us that the urgency to act is increasing.
To be sure, formal international negotiations, especially the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) process, remain vital. However, what is no longer good enough is the creeping forward at a snail’s pace (witness the difficulty in Doha, for instance, of formalising the decision to agree a second period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was agreed last year in Durban).
Tellingly, it was Christiana Figueres, UNFCC executive secretary, who re-asserted at Doha that national and sub-national government policy is key to the accelerated response to climate change that is needed. As is increasingly recognised, it is only by implementing such frameworks that the political conditions for a comprehensive global agreement in 2015 will be created.
Unlike at international level, domestic climate change legislation and regulation is advancing at a rapid pace.
This is particularly the case in developing countries, which will provide the motor of global economic growth in coming decades. Many of these nations are concluding that it is in their national interest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better prepare for the impact of climate change.
Read more: The Guardian UK >>
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