Climate change left off the table
I'm sure you've heard by now that the very expensive, highly securitized G20 and G8 summits are coming to Toronto this week. And though there are a lot of important issues to be discussed on the table in these rare occasions that the world's most powerful men and women are in the same room, one is notably missing.
It was barely 6 months ago that these world leaders (and many more) were in Copenhagen for the UN climate summit pledging that climate change was the defining issue our generation was facing. The richer countries made earnest pledges to get the world on track on reducing the harms of climate change, in the face of poorer and more vulnerable countries like the Maldives and Tuvalu crying and begging for the survival of their peoples.
But with climate change now largely left out of the agenda in these coming days of the summit, those sentiments seem to be long gone, but the threat of climate change has not.
I would be okay with the discussion of other truly important global issues at the summit, if they didn't seem so half-hearted, like Prime Minister Harper's pledge to discuss maternal health, yet at the same time leaving abortion rights and birth control out of the funding.
It looks like world leaders have forgotten the urge and the feeling of crisis that the Copenhagen summit brought with their pledges for financing for vulnerable countries and to create viable national pans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Cancun summit this coming December looks to be renewing just "another round of talks" without a concrete international agreement that was supposed to occur last December.
Things are not good for those eyeing the climate crisis. And it looks like its not getting any better with the start of the talks this week.Photo: Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Copenhagen, Denmark for the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Dec. 17, 2009.