2 April, 2007
As I was listening this morning to the opening speeches of the IPCC Working Group II meeting in Brussels, I started wondering whether we really need these international climate meetings to tackle global warming.
Of course, I understand that, if we ever want to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and have any chance of preventing dramatic climate catastrophes, we need new global governance practices. But is the IPCC the right instrument to forge a global climate change coalition?
The diplomatic politeness and emptiness of the VIP speeches are probably symptomatic of the whole process itself. Only EU Commissioner Dimas had the political guts to go beyond his written speech and get a bit critical (see EurActiv story published this morning).
More critical than the empty speeches, though, is the political interference in the process which should basically be about the scientific opinion on the warming of the Earth and its effects. Professor Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research recently wrote an interesting piece on the question under the title “Whose political agenda is reflected in the IPCC Working Group 1, Scientists or Politicians?”
Pielke criticises the “poor communication to the general public of the IPCC procedures” and has one or two good ideas to improve the legitimacy of the whole process.
My own questions are the following::
- How much does this travelling circus of experts and government delegates cost?
- What is the carbon footprint of all this travelling?
- Would the new IPCC report have had the same political impact without the Gore media tsunami on climate change and the Stern report fall-out?
- What is the political clout of all these government delegates when they are back in their own countries? Does anyone really listen to them?
Anyone who can give me some answers?Author : Willy De Backer