Curtains, conclusions and Copenhagen

December 14th, 2008

First things first; was Poznan a success?

There are two sides to the ZÅ‚oty. On near-term emissions reductions the talks were stuttered, often evasive of the issue, and at worst drenched in denial (it is amazing to see politicians take the floor and dodge the question outright). In terms of recognising the plight of those already suffering from climate change, the talks were positive. Adaptation is right up on the agenda now and some key decisions have been made to help those in affected countries.

So, how to weigh this up? As the old saying goes: ‘prevention is better than cure’. Along these lines, effective mitigation reduces the demands for adaptation. That Poznan created more success in the latter stream could be seen as buying a bigger bandage, but not removing the knife.

Having said that, adaptation demands are current and urgent. Projects helping vulnerable communities have been ongoing for some time outside the UN process and now the 38 countries that compiled adaptation plans will be able to access funds much more quickly. It’s also worth remembering that Poznan wasn’t billed as the table for headline grabbing emission targets. There have been some long-term reductions announcements, most notably from Mexico and the EU, but the hesitant countries have another 12 months until serious 2020 targets have to be declared.

Which brings us to the small task of making 2009 as big as possible. This time next year we need a treaty that combines powerful emission reduction targets and a systematic scheme for funding and implementing adaptation. Having seen the wriggles and screams of politicians here in Poznan, the run up to Copenhagen needs full-blown political pressure from start to finish. We have to make 2009 the year of the climate deal.

One response to “Curtains, conclusions and Copenhagen”

  1. David Flint Says:

    You haven’t answered your own question Ben: Was Poznan a success?

    It’s not a simple question so let’s break it down:
    What was needed at Poznan to take the negotiations forward?
    Did it happen?

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