At the 11th hour a deal seems to be emerging from Copenhagen. The developed world has finally accepted their greater responsibility for climate change and may agree to a maximum of an 18% reduction in emissions by 2020. After a US commitment yesterday, COP15 is also likely deliver a $100bn (£60bn) annual Climate Protection Fund which will aid developing countries fight the effects of climate change. China reacted in kind by agreeing to allow independent auditors to scrutinise their greenhouse gas emissions figures. These commitments looked unlikely 24 hours ago and so I venture that we should be positive of the admittedly watered down commitments. The IPCC recommend greenhouse gas reductions of 25-40% by 2020 and the UN advised a significantly larger figure for the Climate Protection Fund. The deal is contingent on the different pieces of the puzzle coming together.
Whether the deal is brokered or not, the majority who attended the COP 15 won’t leave without an impression of Copenhagen as a green city. The most visible element is the cycling trend. Copenhagen has 300km of bicycle lanes and 35% of the population cycle to work. By 2015 it is hoped this will reach 50%, and by 2025 the city aims to be the first capital city in the world to be carbon neutral. This week MIT researchers launched the impressive Copenhagen Wheel which uses a SMART technology to store kinetic energy and add extra power to save your legs some work, as well as communicating cleverly with its owner.
Real action to deal with climate change demands both top-down and bottom-up solutions. While the politicians sweat to strike an effective and legally binding deal over the coming days, weeks and months, why not take a simple leaf from the Danes’ book to cut your emissions and trial a SMART bike?