Good COP, bad COP: COP15 process must produce a global deal

As activists from across Europe descend on Copenhagen, Plane Stupid takes a few minutes to consider some very different reactions to the COP15. Here, Howard discusses why he is relucantly putting his faith in the politicians and decision makers and joining the Climate Justice Fast throught the COP15 conference.

I've chosen to defend the COP15. It's not going to be easy. I decided to defend the official process because I believe that a globally binding treaty offers the best chance of avoiding catastrophic climate events.

The infrastructure and resources at the disposal of global leaders is enormous and our situation requires that they utilise these for the benefit of all and take action immediately. My scientist friends tell me that without such action there is no chance of stopping runaway chaos. Where does that leave our kids?

I do find it particularly difficult to trust our leaders; throughout my life they've repeatedly let me down. I am dismayed by their injustices, their lies, their propaganda and their greed, so why should this time be any different? It's simple: this is the first time since COP3 in 1997 that a global agreement on suitable action can be reached.

However greedy or just plain sick these politicians really are, they too have kids and they know what will happen to them if they fail. They would have to be really, really stupid to miss this opportunity for change. In prior negotiations the rich nations would just muscle their way through and continue to exploit the poor but this time that's a bit different. Climate change is a global issue and unilateral action isn't going to mean much if everyone else is burning coal. There has to be an immediate global accord for everyone's sake.

The developing nations that are already suffering climate genocide have had enough and this time around we need everyone to play ball or we're all screwed! Most importantly, we should never discount our own ability as activists and campaigners to force the issue and demand political change. We cannot allow this conference to be a continuation of business as usual, so we've got to put our skills to good use and use a variety of tactics to exert considerable pressure on the politicians and generate as much public support as we are able.

The passionate Tuvalu protests at Copenhagen yesterday where activists from all over the world joined together in solidarity with several tiny nations was surely a sign of things to come during the rest of the negotiations. We must keep the pressure up and force our representatives to adopt a new equitable and sustainable approach.

I'm not putting all my eggs in the COP15 basket. Over the past few years I have devoted more and more time to sustainable community work and carbon literacy in my community. I believe that a global political agreement is essential it is only half the picture; we also need a rapid cultural shift away from the crazy consumer lifestyle which doesn't bring lasting happiness.

I believe that we've got to demand change at every level. I've chosen to join the Climate Justice Fast during the COP to call upon both the world leaders and all people, everywhere, to make the changes we need.