So another round of Climate Change Talks is over, and its back to business as usual.
In fact, so usual that the appalling failure to come up with anything at Doha ended up being barely commented on by the news media, more a footnote than a headline. No bigger headline than Durban, Cancun or Copenhagen.
There is a frightening side plot possibility to this, and it is not the melting permafrost.
It is the melting confidence in global governance, be it through its political title or corporate position. History informs us that this invariably leads to mutiny, and that is not a desirable outcome. At a time when we are about to face our most serious global challenges in history, we can not afford weak leadership.
So what is required? What is possible? What could have been the outcome instead?
The action list is too long to discuss here, but a few things are so obvious they need no further explanation. One of these is the use of fossil resources as fuels.
Doha could have delivered a framework to phase these out with simple strategies.
Here is my suggestion: Start with the subsidies.
In 2012 the total (global) subsidies supporting fossil fuels were over 5 times those allocated for clean energy. Now imagine a simple rollback over 5 years that could reverse this ratio. Not only would it remove a grossly distorted financial model that makes fossil fuels falsely affordable, it also removes the crippling market disadvantage faced by clean energy right now.
Then next year another problem could be addressed. Over 5 years we could set up a series of tipping points that instead of leaving us rolling backwards (Think about this: fossil fuels is legacy technology from the late 1800’s! ), build upon one-another and steer us forward towards ecological balance, and away from our current trajectory towards ecological collapse.
I’d like to invite you to leave a comment, sharing your future-building thoughts and ideas. What would you have liked to see as an outcome from the Doha Climate Talks?