Blogg COP21 expectations...

I was in Copenhagen for COP15 when hopes of a meaningful climate agreement were dashed. Now in Paris for COP21, what can I expect?

My inbox is flooded with information and comment about COP21 but the wisest words I’ve heard so far were from Lena Ek, former Swedish environment minister. At an SVN Sweden seminar on Tuesday she predicted the UNFCCC will reach an agreement, but it won’t go far enough or be strong enough, which is not surprising given the number of countries (195) involved in the negotiations.

But Lena Ek went on to say that COP meetings aren’t just about the top negotiations. When all the world’s leaders get together, the rest of us also get on board.

About 50 000 people are expected to attend the official COP21 events. But hundreds of thousands more are engaged in other ways. From climate marches to million dollar investment funds, people in all parts of society, all over the world, are taking action. On Monday Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to increase investment in early stage clean energy innovations and nearly 100 of the world’s largest companies have signed up to science-based emission reduction targets. In Paris today mayors of 80 mega cities have been discussing green solutions for urban living and a new FairTrade climate standard was unveiled. Over the weekend twelve initiatives will be launched at the Global Landscapes Forum alone.

While I’m confident that the world’s leaders will reach an agreement at COP21, my hopes for the details of that agreement are not so high. But I expect real results to be achieved from the simultaneous outpouring of energy and initiatives from countries, companies, NGOs and individuals, thanks to COP21.




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