Global environmental challenges
Historic climate deal in Copenhagen: dream or reality?
French President Nicolas Sarkozy declares “nuclear is dead”; Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is taken to hospital suffering from “confetti inhalation” and “hug-related injuries” after they agree to a historic U.N. deal to curb greenhouse gases in Copenhagen.
At least that’s part of the wishful thinking behind a spoof December 19, 2009 edition of the International Herald Tribune (left) showing a beaming German Chancellor Angela Merkel flanked by Sarkozy (left) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso above the headline “heads of state agree historic climate-saving deal”.
Among other headlines in the 8-page edition sponsored by environmental group Greenpeace: “Markets soar on news of Copenhagen climate deal”, “Exxon finally comes clean” (by abandoning oil and shifting to renewable energies), “Atmosphere named world heritage site”, “India turns its back on the carbon economy”, “Amazon forest a big winner in Denmark”.
The newspaper imagines that that the deal was successful after the European Union agreed at a summit (starting today in the real world) to contribute $50 billion a year to help developing nations combat climate change, matched by a pledge by U.S. President Barack Obama in December to give $60 billion.
Of course the signs so far are that the real life headlines will be less enthusiastic at the end of the December U.N. conference about a new deal to succeed the existing Kyoto Protocol: promises for cuts in greenhouse gases by rich nations are well short of the paper’s imaginary curbs to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. And neither the European Union nor the United States are talking about so much cash.
The Kyoto Protocol fell well short of green groups’ expectations — to the right is a copy of the (real) Japan Times the day after the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 — below the main headline “Conference adopts Kyoto Protocol” is another article “Kyoto Convention’s success open to debate”.
So what will the real headlines read on December 19? (Assuming the delegates finish the conference by then?)
Please give us your suggestions…