23 September, 2007
Climate diplomats and some heads of state and governments will be pretty busy this week attending two major conferences on climate change in New York. Monday 24 September will see an extraordinary United Nationals session called for by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and on Thursday and Friday (27-28) US President Bush has invited the biggest greenhouse gas emitting countries plus the European Union and the UN for a special climate “summit”. Both conferences will try to find common ground for an agreement on fighting climate change after 2012 (the end of the Kyoto Protocol). A UN-based summit in Bali, Indonesia, in December is supposed to be the starting point for a new global climate deal post-2012.
I have already expressed serious doubts and even concerns about the political effectiveness, the costs and the carbon footprint of these high-level meetings in earlier posts. Who really profits from this sort of travelling circus except for the aviation and the tourist industry? While overpaid diplomats fight their endless word-fights in the suites of their comfortable hotels, in Africa and on other continents poor people are dying as a result of freak weather brought on by climate change. Hopefully in 10-20 years from now, we will not need a global climate trial similar to the post-World War Nuremberg trials to determine the responsability of our political leaders who were too obsessed by their false economic growth fundamentalism to act and prevent the climate holocaust.
And as to responsibilities, my anger about this climate circus got only worse recently when I heard that apparently no less than 60 members of the European Parliament (most of them sitting on the EP’s special climate change committee) will want to travel to Bali in December to try and influence the Bali summit outcome. Talking about overestimation of the Parliament’s mini-powers 🙁 . Can someone please calculate the environmental costs of this misplaced climate tourism?
- New York Times: Climate Week
- AFP: UN negotiator urges steps on climate change
- Wall Street Journal Energy Roundup: Here come the climate confabs
- 3eIntelligence: Preparing for Bali climate top – 1