Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Matter of Priority














The Doha climate talks (November 26-December 08, 2012) produced some results. There was agreement to extend for another eight years the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that limits the greenhouse gas output of some rich countries, but will only cover about 15 percent of global emissions.

The decisions in Doha mean that in future UN climate meetings, the talks can focus on the new treaty, which is supposed to apply to both rich and poor countries. It is expected to be adopted in 2015 and take effect five years later, but the details haven't been worked out yet. Still, this is a positive step forward.

But the world is pretty much divided over who must pay for climate change mitigation.

Poor countries came into the talks in Doha seeking a timetable on how rich countries would scale up climate change aid for them to $100 billion annually by 2020 – a general pledge that was made three years ago at the Copenhagen climate talks.

But rich nations, including the United States, members of the European Union and Japan are still grappling with the effects of a financial crisis and were not interested in detailed talks on aid in Doha.

So at best, the results produced at Doha were extremely modest.

But the inescapable fact is that this year has been filled with devastating wake-up calls that global warming is already impacting us. Failure to act will hurt people and communities all around the world. Fighting climate change is now a matter of priority.











Two games involving my fave teams ended in contrasting fashion. Celtic moved four points clear at the top of the SPL with a 2-0 victory over St Mirren. Victor Wanyama headed the hosts in front from Charlie Mulgrew's corner in the fifteenth minute. Then sixty-eight minutes later, the Saints defence failed to clear a corner and Gary Hooper pounced to lift the ball high into the net.

Celtic can now look forward to Friday's draw for the Champions League last-16.

Meanwhile, the Reds were left stunned after Aston Villa arrowed in three shots into Liverpool’s net (Benteke, 29, 51; Weimann, 40) before Steven Gerrard pulled one back in the eighty-seventh minute. Liverpool’s 1-3 loss to Aston Villa in this EPL game ensured Brendan Rodgers was quickly brought down to earth although he tried to blame two “cheap” goals for his side’s defeat. A pathetic manager if I ever saw one.

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