08 October 2010
Today I read a blog post on Crikey’s Rooted by Phil Ireland, an activist at the Bejing climate meeting.
He is one of the new generation of climate activists, who are doing a much better job than mine did to hold leaders accountable to the failure of the global climate law, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
I wrote him a comment, that applies to many good, younger colleagues and friends of mine who are planning to make the Cancun UNFCCC meeting a success:
Open plea to climate activists.
You are obviously really smart and committed to climate action, which begs the question; what are you doing at a UNFCCC-related meeting?
How many decades of failure do you have to watch before you accept the reality? There will never be a binding UNFCCC agreement on deep cuts.
I feel so sad and angry seeing how many good environmentalists and others are planning to attend Cancun in the hope of ‘The Breakthrough’. There are such better things to do with your time and intelligence than holding up the carcass of UNCED and pointing out again how unhealthy it looks.
We are in an emergency situation which calls for the discipline of military strategy or medical triage. If it was 1950 it would be worth negotiating a global climate agreement. It is 2010; sinking effort into the agreement is a tragic opportunity cost, which prevents many other effective measures from succeeding.
The UNFCCC was stillborn. I was at UNCED Rio in 1992 when the UNFCCC was negotiated into nothingness by the US, Saudi Arabia etc.
Give it up and move on, for heavens sake! There is nothing more maddening that watching people make the same mistake again and again. Stop waiting for Godot.