Foto: Boyka Todorova

Fighting climate change consequences: COP21

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place from 30-th of November to 11-th of December in Paris, France.  This year COP21 has the objective to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. The aim of the agreement is keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C.

There are many different opinions about the efficiency of these conferences and conventions. The main critics are questioning if the decisions and future measures are enough, compared to the damage the industry produces. Another point is if the Projects aiming the following 10 or 15 years are an adequate answer to the countries dealing with climate change problems today. There are opinions, doubting what concerns the real result of such events, as there are others, pointing out the necessity of climate-conversation, especially on multinational level. The 2015 Paris Climate Conference is forthcoming, so we are looking forward to the decisions being taken.

The General Secretary of the International Trade Union, Sharan Burrow, states «There are no jobs on a dead planet». But what if we take a moment and reflect – are there more than the economical issues to worry about, when it comes to climate change? The health of the planet itself is a major issue, but when it comes to us- the society? These late years many researchers are focusing their efforts towards the possible link between global climate change and conflict. Analyses were made to confirm the degree of connection between the civil violence and ecological factors. Despite that consequences, such as changing weather conditions, drought or flooding are indeed a challenge, most of the opinions are negative when it comes to a direct link between climate issues and war potential.

On the other hand, the researchers are suggesting some implicit issues that are still significant in a global perspective. Thinking of climate change – there is a phenomenon already ongoing, but expected to be even more explicit in the future – the migration. Imagine a whole territory, which undergoes strong weather changes, so its capability of producing food or proposing acceptable living conditions decrease significantly. What could the population of this territory do? Can we speak of the concept of «Environmental refugees»? On the 5th of November, Tromsø Public Library hosted the seminar «Climate Change and Conflict – Security in a Changing World». Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow at NUPI discussed the case of the Polynesian island Tuvalu. The case illustrates explicitly some of possible issues, which could apply in different areas all over the world in the near future. The main question is – what could all the people of a certain territory do if they suddenly need to leave and live elsewhere? The main issues are concerning the status and rights of these peoples, but also their identity and culture preservation. The hypothetic problems are much deeper, when it comes to a social level. People tend to focus on economical based or pure ecological questions, but social problems are strongly connected, and worth discussing and preparing for.

Nevertheless, the problems climate change is causing are not a future expectation, they are already happening. The 2015 Paris Climate Conference is close, so decisions are to be made.

Text: Boyka Todorova