Is It For Real?

United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) 2009 or COP15 has been one of the most hyped multilateral event on the radar in recent times. The conference has gained unprecedented attention, both political and sentimental. The print media and NGOs coming together have resulted in mass public awareness and generated sentiments across the planet.

If we take an unbiased view of it, it appears to be a tussle between developed countries led by US and developing countries led by China. If we go deep, it appears to be a clash of two world powers with larger than life egos. While in earlier times, United States could have had it their way by the leverage they had on other countries and world politics, not to mention, EU rarely breaks away from United States official policy. Since it came to the term 'developed countries', it actually helped bind EU and US. While it might appear China along with India is leading the massive block of developing countries, in reality, both these countries have nothing in common and their wide ranging differences haven't helped the position of developing countries.

What may conspire in Copenhagen is a farce, a game, a show-off that world leaders are coming together and trying to reach a consensus on the climate change issue. But in reality, the gulf between the two blocks is wider than most see. It’s not just about binding or voluntary emission cuts, as the general positions suggest. It’s more political. China wants a stronghold in world politics and wants a bigger say for itself. While India is still coming to terms with its new found importance and certain leverage, more moral than political, it has on certain countries around the world. Whereas the economic turmoil around the world have deeply hurt US and EU positions, both politically and influentially. Countries around the world no longer look at the developed nations for cheaper loans or grants. Asian giants such as China and India have spread their wings far and wide in Africa, which though politically, have marginal say on world scene but have far higher number of people being affected by the perils of climate change than Western world. The ongoing economic turmoil has resulted in a shift of power and Asia is clearly the driving force on the road to recovery. But differences among themselves, China - Japan, China - India, have resulted in US taking advantage. China did announced a voluntary target of 40-45% emission cuts from their 2005 levels, while India announced 20-25%, its still upon US (17% emission cuts announced) and EU to do more. China and India will be looking for deeper emission cuts from developed countries and also for financial compensation.

The truth is that COP15 is a glimpse in the future. A preview of things to come, where no single country or group of countries hold absolute majority or say in decision making when it comes to UN. It is also a reminder that the world politics is getting multi-polar or at least bi-polar from uni-polar.