Al Gore @ COP15
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore
Lumumba Di-Aping, chief negotiator for G77 at COP 15
Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
He Yafei
He Yafei, Senior Negotiator for China at COP 15
Pachauri @ COP15
Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chair
Pachauri @ COP15
Nancy Pelosi, US Speaker of the House
Yvo DeBour
Yvo DeBoer, (Former) Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC
Hillary Clinton
U.S. Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern

Climate Change

"This historic gathering is being attended by leaders from almost every nation in the world ... but there is one important part of humankind not present and not formally represented at these negotiations. Even though I have no credentials entitling me to speak for them, I would nevertheless like to advocate their interests. They are the generations that will follow us."
~ Al Gore at the COP15 in Copenhagen, Dec 2009

Continued reliance on fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and forest destruction all contribute to increasing climate irregularity by releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientists predict that unless humans significantly reduce emissions, sea levels will rise, and weather patterns will shift dramatically and unpredictably.

China's emergence as a global polluter and as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases concerns many, particularly in the West. But a careful analysis reveals the multi-faceted reality of this issue. Western investment encouraged China’s rapid industrialization and consumers worldwide have benefited directly from China’s increases in energy and resources.

Scientists warn that our planet may be on the threshold of several climate tipping points, whereby the increases in global average temperatures could become irreversable due to self-reinforcing positive feedbacks. Projected warming threatens countless species with extinction, and our economic and cultural way of life, no matter who or where we are, will never be the same.

COP15 Main Hall
COP 15 Meeting in Copenhagen, Dec 2010

Amidst ongoing appeals for global unity in the face of this crisis, the uncomfortable truth remains that different populations face unequal risks, challenges, and arguably, responsibilities. Since the industrial revolution, the creation of wealth and infrastructure has been strongly linked to fossil fuel consumption and green house gas emissions.Thus those in poorer less developed regions have emitted the least, yet paradoxically are now facing the greatest risks from a changing and unstable environment. Negotiations around issues of inequity are proving to be a major obstacle, as was evidenced at the COP15 in Copenhagen.

Despite the very real differences and disagreements, everyone does have a stake in reaching swift, sweeping, and lasting solutions to bring a stop to the worst practices driving global warming. Citizens and policymakers around the world recognize that cooperation is necessary, and bold, innovative policy approaches which integrate new analytical insights are in demand. This is precisely our focus at Action 2030.

At the COP 15, Action 2030's Senior Scientist Dale Wen spoke at a panel on Food and Agriculture and Climate Change and participated in negotiations. Action 2030's James George was also inside the COP15 reporting throughout the event.

Action 2030 organized and co-sponsored the International Workshop on Sustainable Food and Agriculture which took place in March 2010 in Beijing, were a special panel on climate change and agriculture explored these topics:

  • Trade Liberalization in Agriculture: Impacts on Developing Countries
  • Sustainable Agriculture is Climate Friendly
  • Community response to climate change: a case study of Heifer China
  • How to Balance Food Security with Sustainability of Agricultural Production - China Case study

To receive information and updates on this event please join our Sustainable Food and Agriculture Mailing List.

Related Briefs:
Action 2030 Policy Brief: "Climate Change and China, Technology, Markets,and Beyond," Spring 2009.

Related Action 2030 Videos
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Green Cities
Lord Stern at Copenhagen Climate Congress
Dan Kammen at Copenhagen Climate Congress

COP15 demo
Copenhagen Climate Rally, Dec 12, 2009