This past presidential election marked a turning point, a complete change in the political world of the United States. And no: not just the election of America’s first black president, itself an historic event. For the first time in American politics both candidates openly addressed the global issue of climate change. The COP14 conference – the 14th annual United Nations major annual conference on climate issues – takes place these next two weeks in a new era of politics within the United States that reflects a larger change in the world. Global warming is itself no longer the question – the question now is how to deal with it.
“Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty — the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau. ”
What is remarkable is the way in which climate change has brought together the world behind a single pressing issue. In a way this shouldn’t be surprising – after all, the whole world faces the consequences of changing climcatic conditions. However, no war, famine or pestilence of the past has ever exerted enough power to bring quite so many nations together under one roof. Climate change truly is a global issue that the COP14 conference attendees seek to address in a huge variety of ways. Click here for the full COP14 program and more of the latest news from the conference.