Reading over the weekend about the gloom that has settled over the Rio + 20 conference. I came across an article that said the problem wasn’t lack of will – the fact that Obama, Cameron and Merkel all who had been a short hop away in Mexico couldn’t be bothered to attend – but that the model of large scale conferences was outmoded.
Hurray for that!!! I’ve never been to such a jamboree but sitting in the office reading the media, trying to organise alternative ‘events’ and listening to the occasional moans from colleagues deeply engaged in the detailed following of negotiations – I’m delighted to have escaped. Big UN meetings and similar are probably not a cost effective way to get things moving and certainly from a carbon and money perspective the outputs would have to be substantial to justify the cost.
If we agree with the proposition that there needs to be a different model of agreeing, pushing and monitoring sustainable change what’s the alternative and does it have any reasonable hope of delivering on time?
What’s really going to help us make a difference? What will drive the right decisions and actions?
For now I’m going to be really positive about Rio+20
Because of the urgency required. I hear stories and have met people in Bangladesh coping with hugely increased impacts of monsoon flooding because of climate change. Poor people in East Africa are facing longer and more regular droughts because of climate change.
Of course these things happened before – what’s changed in the ferocity and the exceptional weather pattern is becoming increasingly the norm. We need to move towards a sustainable future.
If Rio+20 doesn’t deliver we will need an alternative.
And will we find it in time?
Im not sure where we go from here and for that reason – and the fact that tots of great people, who seek to build a better future are in Rio – I say let’s give them our support and encourage them to do all they can to make it a success. Let’s not give up yet! Lets set huge expectations and hold them to deliver – not talk down everything so as to be grateful for a crumb. They can do it!
And to the climate naysayers who have recently started to follow me on twitter – climate change may not be man-made but it almost certainly is, the impact already on poor people should be enough to make us act now!