Il ruolo della Cina nel trattato sul clima

Sono rimaste dieci settimane e poi i leaders mondiali inizieranno a Copenhagen il dialogo finale sul prossimo trattato sui cambiamenti climatici. In quel trattato, forse, sarà raggiunto un significativo accordo di collaborazione per allontanare la catastrofe.

Segue il Comunicato di Human Rights Without Frontiers

Ten weeks remain until world leaders descend on Copenhagen to begin final talks on the next treaty to end the climate crisis.  In the worst case scenario, governments agree to a hollow deal or none at all.  The world anticipates however, that a global treaty will be achieved-one that moves us into meaningful collaboration and away from catastrophe.

In September, President Hu Jintao raised hopes when he pledged to decrease China’s carbon intensity by a “notable margin” and to generate 15% of the country’s energy needs from renewables, by 2020.

This has prompted some to call China the new leader of the green revolution: Thomas Friedman recently wrote Red China is now Green China, in a NYTimes editorial.

Leadership that looks to renewable natural resources to combat climate change is indeed on the right track.  However, before China can be declared “Green China,” it must look to and utilize its most vital natural resource: its people.  Without realizing the full inclusion of its citizenry, any promises to improve the environmental situation will remain incomplete.

A vibrant civil society is a central piece of the puzzle to ensuring environmental protection in China.  Making the environment safe will require engaging those actors on the ground with the most intimate knowledge of the problem.  In finding solutions, the wealth of creative approaches from the citizenry cannot go ignored.

As United Nations energy expert Thomas Jensen points out, “We are not going to solve anything if we just treat [climate change] as an environmental issue. That should be the starting point, to have a real impact we must acknowledge the fact that climate change is not an environmental issue alone, but it’s a human issue.”

To be an environmental leader, Beijing must transform its relationship with civil society.  It must enhance rather than limit the operations of environmental NGOs.  Citizens must have full access to information, rather than inaccurate and incomplete reports of the environmental situation.  News of pollution must not be rapidly removed or censored. Outspoken officials who promote public participation, like Pan Yue, must not be sidelined.

To be an environmental leader, polluters in China cannot continue to operate in a “black box” of secrecy.[1]  Offenders protected by local authorities, such as those responsible for the recent lead and manganese poisonings in Shaanxi, Hunan and Fujian, must be held accountable.  Those human rights defenders calling for greater transparency and accountability must know their safety is secured.

In December, we will be looking to world leaders to bring us back from the edge of disaster.   But we cannot rely on leaders alone: such a vast crisis requires massive participation.  It is difficult to recall a time when it was ever more essential that we all have full ability to act and contribute to the global solution.

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