Brazil’s second largest city, Rio de Janeiro, witnessed the first ever gathering of environmental campaigners/caretakers and produced an international environmental treaty (UNFCCC) with an objective to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in 1992. After one and half decades, the discourse took new dimensions in Bali, developing a new road map as a two-year process of finalizing a binding agreement in 2009 in Copenhagen. But brushing aside this huge expectation, Copenhagen only produced a weak political statement titled the ‘Copenhagen accord.’ The summit could not pave a way forward for this global issue.
The road from Copenhagen to Cancun, in 2010, was also not that easy. Cancun set an excellent example how the outstanding leadership of a host country could effectively shape the discourse. It was a well known fact that many issues were still on the table that are still unresolved, need further discussion and more political willingness.
To my surprise, these climate discourses always opt for places/countries that start with an interesting first letter. Copenhagen was followed by three meetings in Bonn and semi-final at China’s beautiful city Tianjin. Cancun was another important milestone that was also able to keep up trust on UN process. It was then followed by Bangkok and now at Bonn, both the climate capitals of Asia and Europe, respectively. One of the issues that needs resolution here is where will the next intersessional will be held. My opinion is to follow the ritual so go for places that start with initials B, C or D! But of course not Copenhagen!
Now on the way to the match in Durban, termed the “African COP,” many issues need to be resolved to keep the trophy in Africa. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, issues on MRV, numbers in mitigation, institutional settings on adaptation and technology, and the Green Climate Fund are some of them that need some serious consideration to drive this [endless] negotiation to another chapter.
Expectations at Cancun were very low, however Cancun brought us some hope, but now we are in the quarter-final and semi-final before Durban, and it has to build on the issues that were left-over so we can have the base for legally binding deal at Durban, South Africa. Oh Durban! One step ahead fourth character!
This new journey began at B (Bali) on the way was C (Copenhagen-fail and Cancun-pass) will hopefully end at D (Durban).
So that we could hopefully say Durban Did!!!