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2012 is over and we can look back on a year with far too many climate related disasters. During the summer US was hit hard by droughts, effecting food prices all around world. Later on the Caribbean, and the US, was hit by the hurricane Sandy, with huge effects on both lives and infrastructure. The year ended with another horrifying storm, as typhoon Bopha hit Philippines, affecting thousands of people.
Even though 2012 taught us about the effects of climate change, the climate summit, COP18 in Doha, didn't deliver much result. In spite of numerous decisions, for example an agreement to enter a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol, ambitions are still worryingly low. Mitigation targets have not been raised, and climate finance ambitions have even decreased compared to the last three years.
It is now time to look forward. Will 2013 be the year when ambitions are pushed upwards? A year when politicians show leadership based on science and existing experiences of a growing threat to people, livelihoods and countries? It may be difficult to foresee political developments, but if we rely on science we may predict a number of climate related developments with frightening result in the year to come. There is need for political action now!
In this situation we need to grasp the positive signals we can find. President of the USA, Barack Obama, has said that climate change will be one of his top priorities in the coming years. Denmark is expected to adopt a climate law, a good initiative which hopefully can give inspiration to other countries, a number of EU member states have agreed to create a Financial Transaction Tax, creating possibilities also for future climate finance, and both China and India are boosting their solar power sectors.
Let us hope 2013 will be a year to remember, a year when climate ambition increased through out the world. The year when mitigation plans were turned into action, and when the need for adaptation, loss and damage was taken seriously.
Happy New Year!
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