At a first reading, the draft document from the Paris Conference on Climate Change does not show appreciable change from the twenty previous documents produced by the earlier conferences. Were we to make a pithy summary of the impressions one gets from the text, I would define it a “festival of slogans” filled with many good intentions yet without a real approach to the problem of climate change.
Perhaps, if the representatives of the participating countries had fully implemented Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’, then the conference would have been a real step forward towards solving one of the third millennium’s crises.
The document, however, beyond its form in a brilliantly obscure and vague bureaucratese, has been divided into the usual mitigating chapters, namely, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the rise in temperature to 2°C and adaptation, i.e., the measures for becoming accustomed to the changes under way in the various parts of the world, things that have been repeated at all the conferences. Emissions continue to rise and world oil consumption has doubled since the 1980s. If this is the situation, the course adopted so far has not worked; therefore there should be a clear change of direction. But in what sense? Clearly defining the framework of the global crisis in which the climate change is taking place and which arises from the overuse of long-haul transport for goods and people linked to globalization, industrial technologies that use too much energy, and the too limited use of renewable energies that do not serve the prevailing interests.
The real problem is to revise the model adopted in the last century in the light of the limits that are now evident because of the numerous on-going crises.
Published on QN - La Nazione, 12/12/2015
Giampiero Maracchi - firstname.lastname@example.org