The last day of Bonn, the least developed countries and the alliance of small island states did a press release telling the world that these two groups have now joined hands in the fight against dangerous climate change.
Friendship changes every now and then but with this newly formed friendship of more than 80 countries have now decided that they are willing to fight for the demanding target of 350 CO2 equivalents translating into a 45 % reduction. If one looks at how many countries take part in the UN process one sees that it is 192 countries, which means that a truly significant number of states stand behind this goal which means approximately 41 % of all the countries in the whole UN.
Does this have an impact? I would argue both yes and no. It shows that almost a majority of the participating states agree that we need to get below 350 CO2 equivalents. I’m also positive that more countries will agree upon this as well IF there would be some buzz from the big states about it. After all it’s the big states that wield a lot of political power that could sway the debate in the blink of an eye. There are also countries that have voiced concerns for financial help and in september enough finance will hopefully show up. Which could sway further countries to join in on announcing a good target of at least 40 % to 2020.
However, these 41 % of states representing a billion of people is also the poorest states in the world. It definitely lies within their own interest in having a strong target. More importantly because of this the political power they wield is limited. What seems to be forgotten by states over the world is that incidents that happen at one place in the world can quickly spread to other areas. The financial crisis is but one example of how interconnected the world is now.
In Europe I sometimes hear all these concern that migrating people are taking peoples’ jobs away. This is not going to get any better with climate change. So far the president of Maldives has announced that he would like to move the entire population from the Island to another place. That’s roughly 300 000 people. The size of large town and about the size of the 3rd largest town in Sweden. Imagine that.
As Kofi Annan put it: “In today’s world, no State, however powerful, can protect itself on its own.” We need to start understand that this will not only affect the third world, it will affect us as well. That’s the true meaning of interdependency, whether you like it or not.