Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Climate negotiations - a future?

Excellent post from Chris Spence of IISD who asks if the UNFCCC process is a case of insanity i.e. repeating the same pointless task over and over again.

He concludes that the multilateral process is dead not because of the UNFCCC process but lack of political will. However on a bright note many state and private actors outside this high level are taking actions to reduce emissions.

Those on the periphery of the process (business, local, national and regional entities, civil society) are pursuing their own course of action. Whether it is Australia, China or California introducing carbon markets or cap-and-trade systems, or local communities and business leaders implementing new sustainability strategies, action is happening at many levels. These groups are hoping the global process will catch up with them eventually. But they are not waiting for this to happen before taking action themselves.

His verdict:

It is clear that the UNFCCC is not the sole answer to climate change. That said, it can still be a part of the solution, combined with bottom-up initiatives involving all stakeholders and strong efforts at the local, national and regional levels.

Yes, the UNFCCC is not the panacea. It can be disappointing, frustrating, repetitive and sometimes even maddening. But that does not make it either mad or dead. The UNFCCC still offers the most logical, practical multilateral venue for addressing what is, after all, a global problem. For all its flaws, it still has the potential to contribute to solving the climate challenge.

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