What's to celebrate in this climate?

When world leaders have to resort to a 3am ‘huddle' to save the planet, you know it's bleak. The last-gasp deal in Durban last night was all about making a global climate change pact legally binding – but what difference is that going to make, seeing as it won't come into force until after 2020?

One commentator who was at the proceedings tweeted: "Everyone was tired, nervous they'd miss their planes, unsure of what the text actually said. This is how the world is governed" – and that about sums it up.

This morning, gathering by all the news and reaction, it seems that planet saving has turned into face saving as governments form a sickening loop of self congratulation: corporate polluters 17 planet 0. Depressingly, it's all rather predictable.

Whatever the carbon rights and wrongs of developing versus developed, countries when they try to unite have never been much good at global governance. And the irony is, the more they bicker, the more they seal their fate. The planet is not going to hang around while humanity dunks its head in the sand and meekly procrastinates.

And like, waiting another eight years is going to change anything. For the past 17 years, UN officials from nearly 200 countries have gathered in this vein, and every year they leave a trail of disillusion and discontent. Every year they fail to significantly advance their 2 degrees goal.

I don't much care for small conquests – an agreed roadmap, a new climate fund, a more committed stance – even if this is progress, the detail of how it will all work is being left for another time. So have your hollow victories, world leaders, and take out some time to chill before things really begin to hot up. 

maxine perella

Topics: edie
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