As I pack my bags to attend Conference of the Parties (COP) 17 (yes, I am attending, no, I will not be quaffing overpriced organic champagne with the amazing eco-celebs, financiers and politicians, as I am more of a worker bee type and will be working during COP17). I started thinking about what I would like to the outcome of COP17 to be.
Recently all one hears about in the media and COP related meetings are:
- which politicians and celebs will be attending
- what are the best side events to attend (heaven forbid i don’t get seen at the right event)
- what events have you been invited to …(best make sure I get onto the rights lists! )
- who to network with
- do you have enough business cards…(hopefully printed on recycled paper)
- the astronomical cost of flights and accomodation
- who will be using public transport…. (will some people actually do this? )
- where will you be staying
- what will the weather be like
- … blahblahblah.
One doesn’t really hear about the reality of climate change, the impacts that global temperature rise has as on vulnerable rural and coastal communities, what the impacts of having annual COPs have been or what the ideal outcome of this COP should be. Maybe its time someone did an evaluation of COP to determine if it is really helping with climate change mitigation and adaptation.
I am getting ahead of myself… anyway….
I thought that maybe a some information the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the desired outcome of COP17 would be a good idea to refresh my memory and also provide a background to the negations that will be starting in Durban on 28 November 2011.
- The UNFCCC entered into force in 1995. SInce 1995 the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COP adopts successive decisions and resolutions the aim of which is make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.
- The COP serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which adopts decisions and resolutions on the implementation of its provisions.
- The COP adopts decisions and resolutions, published in reports of the COP with the aim of making up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.
- Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to the Protocol are able to participate in the CMP as observers, but without the right to take decisions.
- South Africa (SA) will be hosting the 17th COP in Durban.
- as the host SA holds the responsibility of being the incoming COP leadership, “this is a strategic and important task as SA will be required to coordinate and steer the COP17 process towards the reaching of an agreement.” (KZN: Department of Environmental Affairs, 2011)
- An agreement that is inclusive, fair, effective and legally binding and that operationalizes the agreements reached at Cancun while also enabling a 2nd commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol.
- A 2nd commitment period that takes forward the issues of climate change, climate resilience, climate adaptation and also enables equitable growth and development.
- Indications/ actions relating to the implementation of a 3rd commitment period(2018) that is also a legally binding agreement for all parties.
- A Green Climate Fund. One that actually contains funds as opposed to one that will one day have funds.
- An adaptation committee aimed at assisting Africa, the less developed countries and the small island states.
- The determination of a Global Peak Year of 2015 and a 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target of 80%.
- The protection of biodiversity and forest ecosystems.
Some COP17 links: