Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why COP16 might succeed

Tomorrow will commence the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP16 in Cancun Mexico.

According to its own website, the purpose for COP16 is:
COP16/CMP6 is the 16th edition of Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). “Parties” refers to all the national states that signed and ratified both of the international treaties, committing to observe and comply with its terms regarding international cooperation against climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been signed by 194 State Parties (list) and the Kyoto Protocol has been ratify by 184 State Parties (list). In accordance with Article 7 of the Convention, the Conference of the Parties in its authority of the supreme body has the mandate of adopting the necessary decisions for the promotion of its effective application.

The purpose of COP16 is to further strengthen the Kyoto Protocol and to set new standards and plans to lower carbon emissions and thus set the stage for cooling the planet down and to reverse the problems being experience by global warming. For the purpose of this blog, the assumption is that a large part of global warming is due to human activity, to wit, the dumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

I want to say, I think there may be hope for this conference, at least more hope then last year. As you may remember, COP15 in Copenhagen was an unmitigated disaster, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The end of the conference communique was leaked early and went along the lines of the usual communiques that is the developed nations get off Scot free and the developing nations get screwed over royally.

I want to suggest to you a number of reasons why I think COP16 has at least more of a chance to be successful. You might call the the Top Ten Reasons for Climate Change:

It's not Copenhagen. Let's face it Northern Europe at the end of November, beginning of December is NOT the place for anything. If its weather is like Canada's then the best words you can use to describe the weather are: dull, dark, dank, damp and depressing. It wouldn't surprise me that over half the delegates were dealing with some sort of cold or flu. All this guaranteed there would be no agreement and if there was, everybody would hate it.

It's Cancun. Think sun, sand, surf and pleasant surroundings. There is a reason why most international events take place in sunny locales. Everybody will be happy, plus there's swimming pools to hang out, and golf courses. These will be the real locations for deals to be discussed and made, not in stuffy conference rooms where the delegation beside you is trying to take your Kleenex. In years to come, there will be pool side bars which will be considered international landmarks as the place where real change was made. Just for comparison, the average temperatures in Copenhagen for November 7.2C to 2.1C as the low. In Cancun, the average is 30C with 23C being the low. Oh yeah, much better.

There's not the same pressure and expectation. There was a lot riding on last years conference, they even had songs for example. Huge pressure was set up, which almost guaranteed a fail. Not so much this year.

The world's on a roll. The Biodiversity Conference produced positive results, the Tiger Summit produced positive results. First time in a long time that could be said.

Probably not too many places for protests and protesters. It's expensive, plus any one trying to come to Cancun to protest has to get past the Mexican security and the various drug wars taking place. I understand both groups have been given the order to shoot the first paper-mache puppet they see. There will be groups monitoring, but I doubt the same level of activism.

So lowered expectations, better climate and past successes should make for better result. There's also one more reason, if President Nicholas Sarcozy going, then the number one reason for success with be;

Carla Bruni, the First Lady of the Republic of France in a Bikini.

No comments: