Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, climate negotiations, Copenhagen climate conference, carbon market, clean development mechanisms, climate change, Copenhagen Summit, green economics, world poverty, carbon reduction, global warming
Surviving Kyoto's 'do or die' summit
This article sets out the importance of the Kyoto Protocol process to be decided at the Copenhagen COP XV Conference of December 2009. It clarifies the latest aspects of the clean development mechanism. It explains in practical terms, the relative negotiating positions adopted by developing and developed countries and possible impacts on world poverty. It presents two proposals that are win-win solutions and modest extensions of existing law. One is a financial mechanism that can help resolve the current impasse between China and the US – a conflict that is reminiscent to the Cold War in the last century. The second is a technological solution that is a small modification of the existing clean development mechanism to allow negative carbon technologies. This would allow poor nations to build power plants that reduce carbon in the atmosphere well beyond what they emit, encouraging economic progress while helping avert global warming risks. The funding can thus come from the Kyoto Protocol process – while increasing export revenues and technological employment in industrial nations – a win-win solution for the world economy. The paper warns about the costs of failure and the importance of the success of the Copenhagen process.