As I wrote yesterday, the UN conference on climate change starts in Cancun today. The conference has received quite good coverage in the newspapers over the recent days. I recommend my Swedish followers to read the DN article about the start of the conference and the SvD article by Susanna Baltscheffsky. In the latter article 5 areas are described where decisions are needed, if a new strong agreement should be possible:
1. Emissions: One of the results from last year's meeting in Copenhagen was a list of the size of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions until 2020 different countries committed to. However, the reductions are not deemed satisfactory to stay below a two degree temerature increase, and the Copenhagen Accord is not legally bonding.
2. Money: How is going to pay the investments needed to decrease the releases? And how will it be administrated?
3. Kyoto Protocol: What will happen with the Kyoto Protocol after 2012?
4. Transparency: What is needed for countries to believe data from other countries?
5. Deforestation: How to proceed with the discussions on deforestation and degradation (REDD)
As I have said previously, I understand the huge challenges to reach a common understanding and faith between all different countries in a mega negotiation of this kind. Hence, sometimes I feel happy to work in the private sector where we can set our goal and objectives, and make necessary decisions, without long and tough negotiations with all our competitors...
If you like to read about Pfizer's Energy and Climate initiatives I recommend you to use this link to our global web page. You can also get some inspiration from our track record over the years regarding reductions in the emissions of green house gases from this figure:
From 2000 to 2007, the releases were reduced by 43% (indexed by sales). The new objective is to take another 20% in absolute reductions until 2012. My message with this is: It can be done. Let's see whether or not our politicians can agree on challeging, but reasonable, objectives!
As you know, fighting climate change is important for a number of reasons. One of them being public health. Climate changes lead to:
- Sea level rise
- More adverse weather events
- Adverse impacts to freshwater supplies
- Human health impacts including:
-- Illness from more heat waves
-- Unsanitary conditions due to increased coastal flooding
-- Vector-borne diseases with longer transmission seasons
-- Change in geographical distribution of diseases
Hence, as a company "working together for a healthier world", this is a very important issue for us!