Climate change is a defining challenge and a leadership issue that world leaders have to give an objective attention and action. It remains to be one of the most pressing and challenging threats to humanity that calls for urgent response. The greenhouse gas emissions from industries threaten the survival of humanity and global ecosystem. Floods, droughts, landslides, glaciations and earthquakes are threatening to eliminate life on the planet earth. These can however only be addressed through institution of a more constructive environmental leadership. However, committed and visionary leadership on climate change issues still remain to be witnessed from the world leaders.
According to the Synthesis Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, melting of the Greenland ice sheet could cause rise in sea-level with time. This is disastrous to life and quite fatal. Leadership and commitment from the delegates leading climate change campaigns and the political will of the member countries that are signatories to the Kyoto protocol is however still far from sufficiency index. This has grave implications given the consequences of climate change across the globe.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was constituted to lead the global campaign and advocacy on climate change issues. Although some progress has been realized in terms of challenging more countries, especially the industrialized ones to take front-leadership in environmental stewardship, much more still needs to be done. Rosenthal cited that although top greenhouse gas emitters like United States and China are signatories to the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012, genuine commitment to reduction of greenhouse gas emission under the treaty still lacks. Washington for example has not ratified the treaty while China and other developing countries are not bound by the mandatory emission caps of the treaty.
The Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) as a taskforce of world leaders responding to climate change issues has deficiencies that have to be dealt in order to be effective. Consensus by the members of this panel to proceed with negotiations towards addressing climate change issues has unfortunately remained very elusive. This has limited the ability of GLCA to galvanize international intervention and the much needed political will for the institution and establishment of a new climate change agreement as the Kyoto Treaty expires in 2012.
The world scientists have been objective enough and generous with truth regarding climate change, its implications and the need for urgent action. However (Rosenthal, 2007) contends that the world’s policy makers are far from speaking in one voice and taking a front lead in addressing climate change issues. Although there is more pressure on the leading greenhouse gas emitters to live up to the expectations and standards of environmental stewardship, this has not been considered. The deficiency in leadership is evident in the manner in which governments constantly review recommendations on cuts in greenhouse gases emission. This has often diluted the efforts and strategies being advanced to address climate change.
Sufficiency in climate change leadership must be realized through immediate action on areas where consensus has been built. However, this is still a distant dream as many countries still drag their feet even in implementing the agreements. United Nations officials highlighted that governments need to emulate the European Union that has shown exemplary environmental stewardship and leadership. This is through its carbon trading system that has helped in mitigating the risks of greenhouse gas emission.
In conclusion, leadership in climate change issues still remains a challenge to world leaders. The governments of the top greenhouse gases emitters must therefore lead from the front by being committed to environmental stewardship and agreements on climate change.