Environmental governance will never be the same again, post-Copenhagen.
Over the last 48 hours, we’ve watched in stunned disbelief as the Copenhagen Summit has unravelled before our eyes. I’m still absorbing the speeches, the antics and the politics of it all but one thing seems quite clear already: the world can no longer be the same, post-Copenhagen.
What a shambles this much-vaunted conference turned out to be! When was the last time so great an investment was made to focus the world’s attention, all to be undone by so little clarity about what exactly was to be achieved, by whom and how?
It is precisely because there remains so much to be done that we must not leave the vital ecological decisions facing humanity to outdated international gentlemen’s clubs or soundbite-seeking global leaders strutting the world stage.
We have witnessed firsthand the grave limits of top-down environmental leadership. Over the past two weeks, Copenhagen has become Nopenhagen and current systems of global environmental governance have been exposed as desperately unfit for purpose.
Paradoxically perhaps, Copenhagen was a wake-up call for renewed local leadership and community action. With global leadership so painfully lacking, citizens everywhere must find ways to demonstrate ecological leadership themselves. Let the international ‘leaders’ and envirocrats follow as best they can.
– Karl Hansen is director of the Trust for Sustainable Living.
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