Posts Tagged ‘COP15’

Copenhagen was a deadline without a plan

Sunday, June 30th, 2013
The following article was initially published on ^ 20091218 by Tigerquoll.


Copenhagen Summit 2009


Copenhagen was a deadline without a plan.

Like Vikings, they rushed in. Too many issues, too many causes, too many delegates, too much reading, too many options and yet forced to deliver a global consensus solution in just 2 weeks!

Copenhagen’s approach ought to have been pragmatic. It needed to come down from the stratosphere in idealistic thinking to have focused on what could be the fastest means to offer the greatest reduction in greenhouse gases commencing in 2010.

Money is the obvious facilitator. The G11 response to the Global Financial Crisis ‘Mark I’ demonstrated the sheer scale of quick cash available from developed nations. Since developing nations need the cash, therein lies an obvious negotiating connector.

Try this scenario… rank countries on the basis of their aggregate carbon emissions and also carbon emissions per capita.  The size of reduction responses and the amount of funding for carbon reduction programmes should be proportional on both bases.  That is, the worst emitting developed nations pay more, and the worst emitting/deforesting developing nations get compensated more not to log.

Pay compensation to countries to stop deforestation is simply a matter of money and there is certainly enough of that around it seems. This should start by Christmas – calculate the forest area, calculate the compensation value, sign the agreement, developing countries contribute to a trust account, transfer the funds electronically to the host country of the forests, send in UN monitors to enforce the agreement to make sure no trees fall.  If Copenhagen just did that, it would have achieve a significant inroad – 20% reduction in one year or something in that order.

News of the pledge by US based Climate Progress of US$1 billion over three years towards decreasing deforestation is an excellent outcome. The funding will go to developing countries that develop REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) programs.

But horse trading in emissions is pure problem avoidance.  Perhaps a less patriarchal culture may have helped too. Perhaps less Viking patriarchal culture and perhaps a more matriarchal approach to negotiation would have achieved better. The alpha male approach has clearly failed.

‘COP15’ was also a silly name. It just meant the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference. Rather than the meaningless ‘COP15’ (‘Conference of Parties’ #15) , such a vital global forum series deserves a more accessible and meaningful name in order to better engage with ordinary folk.

Perhaps instead a better name should be ‘Greenhouse 2009’, then work towards ‘Greenhouse 2010’, ‘Greenhouse 2011’ – for each year, setting and achieving a distinct global reduction outcome by legal treaty. Such numbering and annual frequency would better convey the sense of urgency.

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