UNDERCURRENTS CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate Change, by Max Hague
Painting: © Max Hague www.maxhague.co.uk See www.resurgence.org for more about Max’s work
From Copenhagen to Cancún
Reflecting on the disappointment that was the world’s last big climate change conference, Hylton Murray-Philipson says nothing will change until we convert the nature of business into the business of Nature
The failure of the Copenhagen meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2009 left millions of people around the globe disheartened and depressed. Since then, doubts over the integrity of the science and/or the climate change scientists have been widely publicised. The financial crisis that hit the banking system in 2008 has reappeared in government debt markets, and the international community appears to have moved on from worrying about climate change. Whether we worry about it or not, global emissions of CO2 keep rising as the world continues to pursue growth (largely powered by fossil fuels) as the solution to all our problems. In the last half-century, atmospheric levels of CO2 have gone from 310 parts per million (ppm) to a current level of 380. As a result, the EU has adopted the target of keeping below 450 ppm in order to stand a 50% chance of temperatures rising by not more than 2°C this century.
In 50 years, we have gone halfway to the point of no return (310–380–450).