The outcome of the Doha Climate Change Conference could be a plan that postpones any real global climate action until 2020, effectively ensuring that business as usual is given nearly a decade to continue. Put simply, the climate deal being proposed in Doha locks in inaction, enshrines a lack of ambition, sidelines equity and suspends justice.
It's time to give up our faint hopes that scientists have been unnecessarily gloomy about the rate at which the climate is changing. They were wrong. As the New Scientist asserts, it's even worse than we thought. We are not gaining ground on climate change; we are falling behind faster and faster. Our small steps toward efficiency and intensity do not bring us closer to our goal. As the Red Queen so famously put it, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place." And we are not running very fast. As the world began to gather in Doha for COP 18, scientists and investors attempted to make this starkly apparent.
Developed countries, when they put 30 per cent emissions reductions or less on the table are effectively putting death, displacement and devastation on the table. To call current targets enough, is to effectively announce that on this planet there are acceptable losses in those regions least responsible for causing climate change. People are connecting the dots between extreme weather, droughts and famine, desertification, deforestation, rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and a range of devastating impacts the result of a changed climate. They are connecting these dots to a history of the fossil fuel industry and wealthy, developed nations having free reign pollute.
As young people, we write today with both grave concern and powerful hope. Unfortunately, our concerns are beginning to outweigh our hope more and more each day. We were raised in a world nearly 1 degree warmer than the pre-industrial average; where disruption of the climate system has become increasingly visible in the few years since we were young children.