All eyes in the world should be on the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference as we wait with a stuttering heartbeat to learn about the policies that will guide humanity through the next great evolutionary bottleneck. The topic I will be keeping an eye on is overpopulation.
On December 7th ? 18th 2009 the United Nations Summit on Climate Change (COP15) will take place in Copenhagen. To contribute to this some of the world’s most influential cultural networks, organisations and leaders will get together in Copenhagen for the Culture|Futures symposium (December 7th – 9th).
Representatives from around the world arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark today to negotiate a successor treaty for the Kyoto Protocol. This 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) has been called the most important conference in a decade.
Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.
Every second species could die out, millions of people could be left homeless and entire countries may sink into the sea. To prevent all this 192 states convene today, Monday, for the climate summit in Copenhagen. Expectations are running high, with hopes for a new, climate-friendly world order.
Article 16(9) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as amended by the Lisbon Treaty, lays down that the presidency of the Council configurations is held by member state representatives (ministers) in the Council on the basis of equal rotation. (The Foreign Affairs Council is the exception, chaired by the high representative.)
The only certainty at Copenhagen is failure – either a bad deal or no deal. This is because of the fundamental disconnect between those affected by climate change and those with the power to address it. Unless people have an equal say in the issues that affect them, we will never achieve just or sustainable agreements for global issues. We need democracy.
Most forecasts for the Copenhagen summit on climate change – which opens today – are decidedly gloomy. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research recently released a study condemning the emissions cuts currently proposed, many of which may well fail to materialise, as inadequate to prevent a temperate rise of three and a half degrees centigrade by the end of the century. Any such rise would leave large parts of the world barely habitable.
Today, a campaign to ‘save herbal medicine’ was launched. Campaigners are calling on the Government to prevent herbal medicines disappearing from the high street when an EU ban comes into place in April 2011.
In Romania the incumbent centrist president Traian B?sescu has won the runoff vote by a razor-thin majority. The defeated social democrat Mircea Geoan? suspects electoral fraud and could now paralyse the country with a lawsuit.
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The European Parliament has created a new website to highlight the details of the confirmation of the new commission which will take place early in the new year. There is more information on the candidates as well as the procedure of how they will be confirmed.
In a debate at University College London yesterday, the argument came forth from the anti-European speakers that the Lisbon treaty was illegitimate in a way that was not true of previous European treaties. It is hard to work out exactly what they mean ? they were quite confused in their reasoning ? but I think the argument rests on the supposed facts (1) that the Lisbon treaty is more far-reaching than previous treaties and (2) that the promised referendum on the treaty was not in fact held.
In the long run we are all dead. But as someone else famously put it: we ain?t dead yet, and in the space between these two undeniable truths move forex traders, financial markets and a host of other would be economic participants. The financial press is full right now of headline catching stories about how Greece is at imminent risk of sovereign default. The German newspaper Die Welt even had a lengthy piece this weekend with the catchy title After Dubai, Who Will Be Next (the answer is obvious isn?t, otherwise what is the point of the question). One has the impression of a Europe filled to the brim with financial journalists busily rumaging the entrails, in search of the least glimmer of light which will confirm that something decisive and earthshattering might actually happen (soon), what with the German Der Spiegel announcing at the weekend that Greece?s growing public deficit problem is to be an item on the agenda at the next Governing Council meeting of the European Central Bank on December 17 (surely the big news would be if it wasn?t going to be there), and Bloomberg?s Maria Petrakis telling us that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is toiling away in what many might consider was a vain attempt to ?convince investors he can tackle the worst fiscal crisis in 15 years?. Even the normally staid and prudent Economist throws its weight in behind the charge with a piece whose title tells it all: ?Default Lines? (perhaps the words ?in the sand? could have been thrown in to add a bit more tension), which goes so far as to suggest that a partial Greek default might even be welcomed by some Eurozone member states, since it might take some of the heat off a hard pressed euro.