The Importance of Climate Change – words from Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson

“The people bearing the brunt of climate shocks [played] no part in causing them.”

In Durban, South Africa, people are hoping for solutions. The city is hosting this year’s climate-change conference, COP-17 and it couldn’t be more fitting considering that neighboring countries in the continent have been enduring droughts, famine, and flooding. The groundbreaking Kyoto Protocol–the international agreement that commits 37 developed countries to reducing their greenhouse gases– will expire in 2012, seven years after it was put into force. It is worth noting that the United States–the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide (5,618.2 million metric tons of CO2 in 2009) did not ratify the agreement.

Although the Kyoto Protocol has made slow but significant progress in the fight for climate change, countries throughout the globe continue to feel the often disastrous effects of even one degree of warming. In their article in Al Jazeera, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu and UN High Comisioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, write: ‘The richest countries caused the problem, but it is the world’s poorest who are suffering from the effects.”

“Climate change is a global problem: if countries are not confident that others are addressing it, they will not feel an imperative to act themselves. So, having a legal framework with clear and common rules to which all countries are committed is critically important – and the only assurance we have that action will be taken to protect the most vulnerable.”

Full article here.

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