Is it all coming down to trust or money or both?

Feature Story - 2009-12-15
Two big issues have been coming up again and again this week in Copenhagen: money and trust. These may be a smokescreen for the much larger issue of what targets developed or developing countries take on but they are important regardless.

Shantou wind farm in Nan'ao. Guangdong Province.

The trust issue is about something called verification, one of the big issues to emerge from the Copenhagen meeting this week.

The US says without independent monitoring there’s no way it is going to trust China’s word on its greenhouse emissions.

What does Greenpeace think?

First off: we believe that any global agreement to stop climate change must begin with trust.

By pointing the finger at countries and accusing them of cheating or planning to cheat does nothing to help secure a strong, binding and fair deal.

Secondly, we also believe that any deal must be backed by a rigorous and internationally comparable system which monitors, reviews and verifies all emissions.

We believe all countries – whether industrialized or developing – must be 100 percent part of this system.

The bottom line

Transparency is crucial of course, but Greenpeace believes that political posturing will not save the planet.

Scientists say we need to stop mean global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C from pre-industrial times and to do that we need to slow down global greenhouse gas emissions.

The key ingredients to a successful Copenhagen are:

The industrial world commits – as a group – to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 (current pledges amount to 18%).

The industrial world needs to provide US$140 billion every year to help the developing world cut their emissions and cope with climate change.

Major developing nations must agree to reduce emissions from business as usual by 15-30% by 2020.

A funding must be set up to stop deforestation by 2015 in priority areas such as the Congo and the Amazon.