Climate change intiatives for today: a present to your grandchildren- Kate Cornman

Investing in billions that you may never see the effects of? We question why big players like China and Russia will not cooperate but the problem is more on the basis of an international game of chess with a ticking clock. Many hold that the game needs to disappear but what we really need is to think outside of the board for the answer. If governments in large commercial countries can provide an initiative for big corporations to take larger steps in cutting emissions and investing in long-term projects for environment sustainability, can this provide a short-term initiative to Climate change while we wait for meaningful international change? Action seems to be a better move then waiting for cooperation amongst nations that may not resolve issues that must be fixed in a timely manner. Although it is much easier to focus on the economy or constituents then to foster a binding treaty, politicians must start to focus on the daily effects of climate change and look for a way to change the future.

A legally binding accord does not mean it is effective or that it will truly be the change that the planet needs. China and Russia have little ambition for effective cooperation and this is seen in their abstention from the Kyoto Protocol. This in part results in why Kyoto’s fate as a treaty has had no committal objectives. The treaty itself does not represent cooperation but rather just reflects the moves that the states would have already made prior to the treaty.

While an international course of action would be, in theory, a more effective change because countries could work together in solving this international problem together, in reality, this cooperation does not formulate in this nature. Countries concerned with environmental policies before an international agreement take the most action while others, who seem to be the largest emitters stand in the shadows nodding unconcerned about 20 years from now and shaking their heads “no. ”These countries allow international politics to stand in the way to enact meaningful climate change initiatives. If China and India were to facilitate an agreement with actual change then the issue would be tackled faster and with more ease. However, in this case self-imposed pressures serve better for these countries but they must enact these measures themselves, which can be difficult because their main focus is on short-term economic growth.

A treaty stands as a way to legitimize an agreement and to be held accountable if the country does not follow the said protocols of the treaty. Thus, a treaty with real change is needed but in the mean time changes within corporate culture here and abroad can effectively help to impose change.

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