Editorial - The global climate change challenge

Loreto Colombo


The world heading towards a single objective

The damage from catastrophes produced by climate change in recent decades is calculated to amount to US$ 500 billion. While for the first time over one million people recently demonstrated to demand economic, energy and social policies that safeguard the future of planet Earth, the Climate Summit 2014 opened in September on the occasion of the 69th UN General Assembly.
As long as a quarter of a century ago, the peoples of the world started along the road of global cooperation against atmospheric warming and to save the planet. However, the many international conferences and summits of Heads of State and Governments, from that of Rio de Janeiro (1992) to those of Lisbon (1996), Kyoto (1997), Hanover (2000) and Johannesburg (2002), to Aalborg+10 (2004), have produced inadequate results, showing difficulty in overcoming vested interests and national egoisms.
In June 2012 the Rio+20 World Conference concluded with the statement The future we want, which invites States to define sustainable development objectives and draw up suitable measures to manage environmental resources at the global level, to improve food security, enhance protection of the oceans and promote the “green economy”. However, the statement contains no concrete indications for launching the necessary policies: there are no deadlines and it may be concluded that for the umpteenth time the opportunity to achieve ambitious objectives has been lost.
Yet in 1987 the UN Commission on Environment and Development, with the Brundtland Report, had defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. That “future” began some time ago, but not even the Rio+20 Conference has taken significant steps forward compared with the 1992 Earth Summit, which first launched the concept of sustainable development, shared at the international level, with its three distinct component parts, namely economic, social and environmental.
Twenty-two years ago, in 1992, the precautionary principles and the “polluter pays” policy were integrated with the principles of the right to development and equity, as “common but differentiated responsibility”. Moreover, on that occasion the Heads of State and Government from the industrialised countries undertook to fund and effect technology transfer to developing countries. Two binding international agreements were signed: the UN Convention on Biodiversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (...)


The global climate change challenge

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12896/cse20140020032


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CSE Journal - City Safety Energy is a semiannual journal (Two ISSUES per Year) published by Le Penseur in Brienza (PZ) - Italy | ISSN print edition 2283-8767 | ISSN online edition 2284-3418 - Journal registerd at the Court of Potenza (Italy) n. 219/2014