From Ottawa to Doha – the frustrations of climate change

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Here we are again. It is time for a new frustrating climate negotiations. COP18 started in Doha last Monday and I’ve been here since, with a press accreditation observing the negotiations, youth actions and the frustrating comments and actions (or lack of thereof) of governments and negotiators.

The rhetoric is the same, the messaging hasn’t been changing much and the expectations are low. The Canadian government, along with many others, aren’t even bothering to pretend that they care while others mostly small island states are frustratingly pleading for meaningful actions knowing that time is running out and there is no time to just sit and watch.

Climate change's impacts are around the worldThere is no time indeed. There is an overwhelming scientific call for greenhouse gas emissions to peak in 2015, in order to be able to cap the global temperature increase at 2 degrees Celsius. The depressing reality is that we know two things:

1. Even if that happens, the consequences are already pretty bad and the changes in weather patterns and the impact this will have on water resources and food production,  are already happening and will still get worse before they get better.

2. There are no plans to make any progress or take any actions to cap the emissions in 2015. Not to mention, a UNEP report released Tuesday shows that the current projection models underestimate the impacts because of they do not account the massive amount of CO2 and methane that are going to be released as the permafrost is melting,  which by the way is melting at a higher than expected rate.

With that in mind, we sit here watching the first week of negotiations gone with nothing substantial coming out of it. Even worse, people are concerned that it is going downhill and that there will not actually be any meaningful progress. Now to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything meaningful really, but that just hurts. I mean you would think that people shouldn’t be pleading to the international community in order to keep on existing.

How is it that people don’t understand that one hurricane could literally sweep the entire Marshall Islands of the face of the earth? More importantly how can those who understand and have power to do something about it, stand still and chose not to do anything?  Instead countries like Canada and Qatar go on profiting from the tar sands and oil production, all of which are contributing to climate change.

This no news, it was three years ago that the Maldives cabinet held a meeting under water to symbolize the seriousness of the issue. We’ve been listening to the same things over and over again and it feels like I wrote those same words last year, I just lost my ability to be sarcastic about it.

And then? How much worse does it need to get before something meaningful is done about it? Until do we keep putting greed ahead of the planet and people’s interest?

Remember people, money will never become edible and bitumen oil will never be drank!

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