Top German climate change scientists and advocates think it's pointless to continue the United Nation's annual climate change summits.
Several leading experts at internationally renowned institutes in
Germany are demanding an end to the climate summit charade. It is time
to begin confronting the reality of a warmer future rather than meekly
insisting that global warming can be slowed without taking action to
make that happen, they say.
The period characterized by "the UN's clever management of
expectations" is coming to an end, says Oliver Geden, a climate expert
with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in
Berlin. "The expectation that the worsening problem would put pressure
on the international community to find a solution has not been borne out -- and isn't likely to be."
"The dream of a global deal is over," agrees Frank Uekötter, an
environmental historian at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and
Society. "An elimination (of the summit regime) would create space for
...Silke Beck, a climate expert at the Helmholtz Center for
Environmental Research, blasts the summits for being little more than
"symbolism" and says that the issue of global warming is "several sizes
too big" for the UN process as it is now pursued. Hans von Storch from
the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Center adds that the
process has transformed researchers into little more than "ushers in
the political theater."
But what can be done? The answer given by many is a surprising one.
The goal of limiting global warming to just 2 degrees Celsius has become
much too central, they say, because it guarantees that the focus of the
public debate remains almost exclusively on the reduction of carbon
dioxide emissions. Yet after two decades of failed negotiations, the 2
degree goal has likely already become unattainable. It's time to broaden
the focus, they say.
The 2013 UN climate summit is to be hosted by Poland, Europe's "coal-aholic" and a country at war with efforts to salvage the world climate.