Will the next international deal for combating climate change be called the “Copenhagen Protocol”, consigning the “Kyoto Protocol” to history?
Who would want the name of their favourite city linked to a treaty about global warming? It may be a momentous step towards a clean energy future but, if Kyoto is anything to go by, will also be hated by many. The poor “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen harbour already suffers enough from protests, like red paint thrown by vandals last year (right).
A new U.N. pact for fighting global warming is meant to be agreed at the end of 2009 at a conference in the Danish capital and, by normal international practice, it would then be called the “Copenhagen Protocol”.
Denmark has been adamant that a baby shouldn’t be named before it is born so I was surprised this week when Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, on a visit to Oslo, spoke repeatedly about the planned “Copenhagen Protocol” as if it were already decided.
The name “Kyoto” is badly tarnished by years of disputes between U.S. President George W. Bush, who dismissed the pact as “fatally flawed”, and his industrial allies who are implementing Kyoto’s curbs on greenhouse gas emissions running to 2012.