Response to Climate Change Summit

by Emily Baird on December 9, 2009 at 6:40 am

The much anticipated United Nations Climate Change Summit is wrapping up day three of its two-week long global gathering.

Many environmentalists are saying this gathering is the last chance to form a treaty before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified in the late 1990’s by many countries to help limit the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere, but China and the US never got involved.

This time around though, it may be a different story.

"I think we really have to take a lead role in dealing with climate change because other countries are not going to want to have big changes in their economy and in their energy usage if the us, which is one of the largest consumers, is not willing to be on board, " says Muskingum University Chemistry Associate Professor, Lois Zook-Gerdau.

Gerdau and Homer Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences, Danny Ingold, say President Obama is set to speak at the Climate Change Summit next week and will promote a 17 percent reduction of fossil fuels in the US over the next 15 years. Ingold says if we don’t start addressing this problem now, it will affect our children in the future.

"Climate change doesn’t mean we’re going to have a great desert someday. It means that different continents and countries will be affected differently. Some places get warmers. Some may be cooler…some wetter…some drier. In the end, the ability for us to feed seven billion people becomes more challenging if you can’t grow crops in some of the places that you could in the past, " says Ingold.

The Climate Change Summit is taking place in Copenhagen and many interested parties have nicknamed the gathering Hopenhagen.