THOSE who wanted the Copenhagen Conference to fail and those who think there is no such thing as climate change should not feel too pleased with themselves over its obviously disappointing outcome.

The bottom line is that despite two weeks of often querulous and inconclusive negotiations there remained at Copenhagen unanimity about one thing -- that climate change exists and will threaten life on Planet Earth unless measures are taken to control the carbon emissions that are causing it. Indeed, it could be argued that the dissensions that emerged during the Conference were often caused by the full realisation of the extent of the threat from climate change -- ranging, as it does, over human, economic, political and military implications that so far have not been fully recognised. The achievements of the Conference were not inconsiderable. The prevention of deforestation got the attention it needs as did the growing problem of the acidification of the oceans. The recognition that the developing world needs financial help to deal with problems that are not of its own making was strengthened although there was disagreement on its scale.


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