You probably know that the world's governments have gathered in Bali for a UN conference to begin negotiating a global greenhouse gas emissions treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012. You may also know that the United States, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, failed to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
This is the United States' chance to join the community of nations that are trying to cap global emissions and reduce the effect that climate change is and will have on us all.
But the U.S. is not rising to challenge. Instead of being the world leader we ought to be, we are torpedoing, along with Canada and Japan, the rest of the world's ambitious attempts to address climate problems. I, for one, feel ashamed.
According it is put on the website of Avaaz, "a community of global citizens who take action on the major issues facing the world today":
Climate negotiations in Bali are in crisis. Things were looking good till now: near-consensus on a delicate deal, including 2020 targets for rich countries, in return for which China and the developing world would do their part over time. IPCC scientists have said such targets are needed to prevent catastrophe. But Japan, the US and Canada are banding together to wreck the deal, and the rest of the world is starting to waver...
We can’t let three stubborn governments throw away the planet's future. We have until the end of Friday to do everything we can. Please sign our emergency global petition below -- we'll deliver it through stunts at the summit, a full-page ad in the Jakarta Post in Asia, and directly to country delegates to stiffen their nerve against any bad compromise. Add your name to the campaign below now!
"We call urgently for the US, Canada and Japan to stop blocking serious 2020 targets for emissions reductions, and for the rest of the world to refuse to accept anything less."
Also, read today's story in the New York Times here.
Picture: Avaaz members and youth climate coalitions send an earlier message to negotiators from the Kuta beach in Bali
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.