Sunday, 5 February 2012

Copenhagen: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Copenhagen had a huge amount of hope riding on it – including mine.

And the reason that expectations were so high was that Copenhagen was supposed to produce a new global deal. Two years before in Bali all parties to the convention agreed to a timeline for establishing a new legally binding deal and set Copenhagen as the deadline for agreeing it.

Going back over the blogs I wrote and videos we recorded at Copenhagen, we spent a lot of time talking about how urgent and crucial it was that we met that deadline and left Copenhagen with a binding ambitious global deal.

But, of course, that’s not what happened.

And its two years down the line and I’m watching the last minute rescue of talks at Durban. And the success, the big reason to be hopeful about what came out of Durban, is that they agreed a timeline for a new legally binding deal and set the deadline for achieving this as 2015.

Sound familiar?

I’m not trying to say that Durban didn’t make progress – important steps forward were made – especially on co-operation between developed and developing nations. But when I go back and read over the blogs I wrote from Copenhagen and then stand back and look at where we are today, it’s slightly terrifying that all we’ve achieved in the last 2 years – and where Durban’s big step forward has left us - is on most counts roughly where we were 5 years ago.

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