Saturday, September 26, 2020

Botswana grudgingly supports the Copenhagen Accord

Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Minister Kitso Mokaila is expected to host a press briefing tomorrow (Monday), at which he will reiterate Botswana’s support for the recently founded Copenhagen Accord, which came into existence after last year’s heated Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

Mokaila represented Botswana at the conference from December 7th to 18th in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference produced what is now dubbed the Copenhagen Accord which was grudgingly accepted by Botswana and other small countries.

“Botswana, like other developing countries, including some small islands, welcomes the accord, although it was not entirely what the developing countries were after,” read a communiqu├® form Mokaila’s ministry.

The climate change conference came to a staggering conclusion late last year, after two weeks of delays, haggling and last-minute deal-making, with the participants grudgingly agreeing to take note of a pact shaped by five major nations. Disgruntled participants slammed the final accord as a sham and an anticlimax, shooting down the 12-paragraph document as a non committal statement of intention.

Reports indicate that almost all of the delegates left Copenhagen in a sour mood, primarily because the Copenhagen accord was a rather lackluster compromise instead of a binding pledge by countries, especially developing countries, to begin to take concrete action to tackle global warming. The accord, they said, does not tackle crucial issues like the need for firm targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

There were incessant calls for firm commitments on the part of developed countries to facilitate a flow of financing to developing economies to enable them to adapt to climate change. Major economies were also called upon to enact firm and effective systems through which they can monitor and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Copenhagen Accord is a promise of action by major economies to curb green house gas emissions and assist developing countries to tackle global warming, through the establishment of clean energy economies. Developing countries will also be cushioned against the debilitating effects of global warming. But the insurmountable gap between the nations’ combined pledges and what the situation on the ground requires to avert the risks of global warming leaves a lot to be desired.

Almost all the speakers from the developing world reportedly denounced the accord as a sham that was privately coined by rich countries without the input of developing countries. The Sudanese delegate reportedly likened the effect of the accord on poor nations to the Holocaust.

But in the end, many of the smallest and most vulnerable nations grudgingly accepted the deal, except for some, like, among others, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

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