COP 21: Time for a reality check

timcadman

IMG_8022Photo: Cadman 2015

As the climate talks enter their last few days in the dreary and windswept Parisian suburban town of Le Bourget, a few things are finally coming into focus – despite most of the main negotiating text, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) still being in square brackets [i.e. no consensus].

There will be no legally binding agreement. It would be nice to be proved wrong, but this appears to be the overwhelming conclusion of most negotiators. This is the sadly predictable trend that has been emerging out of all UN sustainability initiatives since the first Rio ‘Earth’ Summit of 1992. The push is all for voluntarism, and if enforced at all, by private certification agencies, governed by self-determined standards. The nationally determined contributions (NDCs)to reducing emissions have to date remained, despite earlier fears, but with no legally binding provisions, and the push for…

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