3 Things you need to know about COP21 Paris Climate Summit
‘United States of Europe’ 1 December.
This week: COP21 in Paris. Polluters polluting the planet to cut down on pollution.
COP21 stands for ‘Conference of Partners,’ the 21st annual. Inspiring.
Here are the 3 things you need to know to sound smart about COP21!
1) Who are players?
First of all: climate activists. They were told that protests were forbidden, but they gathered anyway for a cleaner environment – resulting in clouds of toxic chemicals like tear gas.
Of course, there are also pro-climate politicians. And even some anti-climate politicians. Such as much of Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe, whose attitude is basically ‘’Gas, coal, tobacco – as long I can light it on fire. #ThrowbackThursday #1970s.”
This is nothing compared to the Republican candidates in the US, who are busy trying to one-up each other in denial of climate anything.
“I don’t believe in climate change science.”
“I don’t believe in science.”
“I don’t believe in gravity. I’m floating right now!”
2) Why is this time different?
The last big COP summit was the spectacular 2009 failure in Copenhagen. Why was it a failure? My theory is this: What is Copenhagen known for? The Little Mermaid statue. What is The Little Mermaid? Effectively a mascot for rising sea levels. They may as well have called it “Under the Sea.”
In 2009, a comprehensive, Top-Down climate treaty was rejected. And – to be fair – even countries who supported the treaty didn’t want to yield their sovereignty to some unelected supranational boss man.
So in 2015, the Partners are trying it from the Bottom-Up. Any new climate rules have to be voluntary and self-imposed. It sounds crazy, but the peer pressure effect is actually yielding results. Especially since China and the US formed an agreement, now it’s like “C’mon man, everyone’s doing it.”
This time, countries can’t say no to climate agreements, because they already said yes to the climate agreements before the summit. This of course raises the question: ‘Why do we need a climate summit? Couldn’t we do this by Skype?’
But of course, now that the world leaders have flown home, it’s time for the technocrats to try for one big treaty. Even if it doesn’t work, COP21 might reach an historic agreement to limit the global temperature rise to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
That will still wipe out most life on the planet, but not all!
3) Why does any of this matter?
It might not. But the good news going unreported is this: there have never been more countries at a COP, and until now there’s never been more universal agreement that climate action is necessary. SO you’ll hear headlines about ‘it’s not enough.’ The real headline should be: we just witnessed a game-change.
And we may have witnessed the real game change already. While governments dither, the private sector has been regularly breaking records on clean energy and sustainability – from solar-powered cars to the battery-powered house to jet fuel from recycled cooking oil.
Let’s hope that green jet fuel gets approved by the governments, otherwise COP21 may be remembered as more hot air.