Cancun will not save the planet

The Climate Change Conference at Cancun, which is due to start on 29th November, is actually not a single event but five separate events all taking place together. If the numbers of conferences alone are enough to save our planet, then Cancun will save the planet.

These five conferences comprise the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16),  the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6), the thirty-third session of the Subsidiary Body for  Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 33), the thirty-third session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 33), the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I  parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 15) and last but not least the thirteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action.

If complex names for UN bodies alone were enough to save the planet then Cancun will save the planet.

Most of the time at the conference is devoted or scheduled for “informal groups” where the hope is that representatives of nations will attempt to find some common ground. Quite a lot of time will be devoted to ensuring that each politician gets some air time which can be televised so that a leader of a nation can explain his or her position, while appearing statesmanlike and suitably intent of solving the problem of climate change. Three hours after lunch on the final day in Thursday 9th December is devoted to “adoption of decisions and closing”. The delegates get Sunday off.

If politicians spouting on about their own nations planet saving leadership would be enough to save the planet then Cancun will save the planet.

The conferences (as we should call them) will conclude in statements of pious hopes and good wishes and were such expressions and blessings enough, then Cancun will save the planet.

There will be thousands of reporters in Cancun (more exotic than Copenhagen but less exotic than Bali) and if thousands of journalists attending these conference with reporting on informal groups, politicians speeches and adoption of decisions would be enough to save the planet then Cancun will save the planet.

Many will argue that Cancun is a necessary step along a long and complex route which will eventually lead to legally binding treaties which save the planet then I would not argue against that. I would simply say that this route is the wrong route because the step is too small, the number of steps to be taken is too many and the time allowed for the journey to reach its destination too short.

Cancun will not save the planet.

 

2 Responses

  1. I’m going to be a pedant here now and say that, bar the possible nuking of some massive incoming object from outer-space, neither man nor machine will “save the planet”, and nor will we kill it.

    The planet is a dangerous and hostile place to man. It hardly needs saving, it will be here long after we’re gone.

    Just saying 😉

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