On Thursday, Jan. 30, there was a panel talk held at University of Pittsburgh about the UN and Climate Change.
The talk mainly focused on the UN stance on climate change, how it is understood and current project developments. While I enjoyed the talk and found it to be informative, it was very much just a UN accomplishment talk. It focused on the success and the glory of the UN, rather than the focus of actual crisis management.
The atmosphere was too idealistic and the structure of the UN was not fully explained. The UN is a large working machine, bureaucratic in its inherent nature. It can take years for a resolution to be written and passed, and then it can take more years for project plan to be implemented so that the resolution may be carried out. The UN makes our congress look efficient and that is in no way a bad thing. It is just slow; so slow that it has been decades since there has been any progress to decline the international use and global codependency on fossil fuels. I wish that these issues had been further discussed in relation to the bureaucratic and committee structure of the UN. I suppose that focus will happen in the future talks that will be held on Feb. 13, Feb. 27, and March 27. This talk was incredibly informative and I highly recommend for anyone else to attend since they are free to the public in Pittsburgh.
It was wonderful, however, to hear from Ambassador Kamal from Pakistan about climate change recognition, not only in Pakistan, but its perception in South Asia and the developing world as well. There is a considerable expectation that has been established for the developing nations to participate and provide resources at the international level for climate change progress. While that is a reasonable request, it is hardly realistic. Developing nations have pressing needs that do not easily translate into sustainable development, but that does not mean that they do not recognize the emergency. The mentality and the capacity of these societies must be taken into consideration to understand the lengths of these developments. India and Pakistan are leagues ahead in terms of Wind Energy infrastructure and development in rural areas, but to demand them to monetarily submit equal amounts of money as the United States or the United Kingdom to climate committees in the UN is absurd. These countries are not yet wealthy enough. They are also, contrary to popular belief, far more sustainable in public transportation than the United States and this gross expectation that has permeated into Western society that the “third world” needs to contribute equally as much is intolerable. This is merely a tool to scapegoat and to deviate away from further international responsibility and to accumulate statehood environmental accountability.
For more information about these talks: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/dialogs/climate-change-talks