By Suzanne Maxx
The Count Down to Copenhagen which we had posted on World Team Now’s Website is over, now is the time…. Left with dusty remnants of older blog conversations, “Think Global, Act for All, preparing for COP15. Now you too, have the opportunity to participate at Copenhagen; at the bottom of our home page there are links to take you to Copenhagen, COP15 webcasts and bring you virtually there, without the travel.
The much anticipated COP15 conference officially began yesterday, for us at World Team Now, and all others committed to the environmental movement this event holds the possibility of bearing witness to a historical moment in our world; The possibility of a global treaty’s framework around Climate Change agreed to by 192 Countries around the world, is present—with our future at stake.
The meeting could be named “Last Chance for Humanity” but the official title is the 15th Conference of the Parties — in reference to all part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) referred to commonly as, COP15. Let’s hope the force of “COP15” can regulate like the acronym’s word, in regards to environmental justice.
More than 15,000 people made up of delegates, NGO’s and press gathered in Copenhagen for the opening of the conference. Cultural experiences gave those good feeling chills, with inspirational speeches, a performance of “All life is your life”, composed and accompanied by legendary Danish jazz trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg, and a short film, “Please Help the World,” about the nightmare of non-action- from a child’s perspective.
Unfortunately for much of the world, the understanding of Climate Change, and the way it has been presented in the media, has left most people at best confused, thinking that this UN Conference in Copenhagen might be futile; however the exact opposite may indeed be true. As if to highlight the point at the start of the Copenhagen climate conference, 56 newspapers from around the world published a joint editorial on Dec. 7th that urged world leaders to take steps that can limit rising temperatures.
“Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history,” says the joint editorial. “But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.”
Life happens, and I had planned to be there in Copenhagen today for the conference opening, and to be aligned with President Obama’s originally scheduled visit, on assignment for ENS. It was fortunate President Obama changed his schedule participation to the 18th of December. But I did not anticipate a press conference held right here in the US by EPA’s Administrator Lisa Jackson, to be the place of action today, so here’s to timing! This was bold action timed well to motivate the world to get down to some specific measurable results—for transformation. Lisa Jackson spoke with clarity about the Climate Challenge in her speech today, (click here);
“The overwhelming amounts of scientific study show that the threat is real – as does the evidence before our very eyes. Polar ice caps crumbling into the oceans, changing migratory patterns of animals and broader ranges for deadly diseases, historic droughts, more powerful storms, and disappearing coastlines”.
But now after public response, Lisa Jackson demonstrated EPA is ready for action signing two distinct findings on December 7th, “ I’m proud to announce that EPA has finalized its endangerment finding on greenhouse gas pollution, and is now authorized and obligated to take reasonable efforts to reduce greenhouse pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
She explained, “In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down perhaps the most significant decision ever reached in environmental law. The Court ruled that the Clean Air Act, the landmark 1970 law aimed at protecting our air, is written to include greenhouse gas pollution.
This administration will not ignore science or the law any longer, nor will we avoid the responsibility we owe to our children and grandchildren. Today this long-overdue finding cements 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States Government began seriously addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform.
This action by EPA today says literally and symbolically that the US is taking Climate Change seriously, by proving that Green House Gasses (GHG) are indeed a public health threat and under the clean air act this gives EPA the authority and jurisdiction to regulate. This declaration holds the possibility of power being exerted from top down, if it can’t be done from the ideal bottom up legislature on energy. An Energy Bill has gone through the House, but the Energy Bill is stuck being debated in the Senate. The US needs more than image now, calling for action and now it looks to be within EPA’s power to regular not vehicles, and new construction, but also on new manufacturing facilities, if necessary.
I doubt that many anticipated this kind of bold action here on Climate Change from the US, who has a history of holding the rest of the world back from ratifying our first global agreement signed by all countries of our world since two generations of President Bushs’ (beat it around the..), when it was first named “The Climate Treaty,” at The Earth Summit in Rio, and when it grew into “The Kyoto Protocol”. May EPA inspire all working for an agreement in Copenhagen with the confidence that bigger forces are at work, and anything is possible in the US now..
“Every positive announcement will improve our chances of staying below the 2°C target,” said Danish minister Connie Hedegaard, who is presiding over the Copenhagen summit. “But we all know only too well, we are not there yet.
The set up leading to President Obama’s interaction at the end with the Conference with a team of policy experts all working towards an agreement, and the US.gov with EPA team hosting over 70 events in Copenhagen, is quite a strategy for something powerful..
The US is taking steps to redeem global respect. The possibility is a “home run”, with the bases loaded from the preceding work done. Inside the hearts of many who empower President Obama with high virtues, virtues that collectively inspired great leaders of the USA to write the documents like, “The Constitution of the United States“, virtues that are at the core of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, virtues that could reflect the soul of our world striving to live in balance with our resources. Could the US inspire now? The stage will be set after this period of the conference for Obama to take a swing at global transformation having just received this Noel peace prize with the world’s eyes on him, he will have the opportunity to demonstrate his stand for peace, and change with ideals he founded his campaign with, “Yes, we can”, by taking action at COP15 when many had given up on any specific measurable results. He will have a chance to lead with the Light of respect, with the spotlight of the global stage shining on COP15 to stand for the highest good of our world.
Now for humanity’s sake let’s hope our timing and our efforts made, to come up with the first binding global treaty, that the whole world adopts, happens in time to bring future generations a world they deserve.