"We Can't Expect Politicians To Deliver On a Climate Deal" Says Wilbur Smith
Barely had the ink dried on the Durban COP Conference, Canada, a key signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, announced unilateral pull out from the treaty. Environment minister Peter Kent invoked Canada’s legal right to withdraw from Kyoto commitments as he said it would cost Canada $14 billion in compensatory payouts to offset its rising Carbon emissions from its onshore drilling, oil sands projects, and mountaintop mining. Only a day before representatives of 194 nations at the COP 17 Conference at Durban had decided to kick the emission can down the road by 8 years.
They will spend the next 4 years negotiating how far and how fast each country should cut its carbon emissions. The new treaty that will take 4 years to negotiate shall be implemented during the next 4 years and would be effective only from 2020. By that time greenhouse emissions would have risen to 50 billion tonnes instead of the 44 billion tonnes of GHG as envisaged during Kyoto negotiations. Instead of thinking of 2 degrees temperature rise due to greenhouse warming, we would have to contend with at least 3 degrees. This start of emission control dateline of the new treaty remarkably coincides with previous end point. As per Kyoto the emissions were to be under control by 2020.
Should we worry? Since I was due for a face to face chat with popular bestselling Author Wilbur Smith on a book signing trip at New Delhi I decided to ask him the question. After all he was one of the early environmental thinkers who had exposed millions of young readers like me to Africa’s wilderness from the early seventies, and told us about the importance of preserving the environment.Continued on the next page