The Hagupit Typhoon and the paper men
Yesterday ended the first week of COP 20 negotiations in Lima and the balance is not positive: Negotiators have not yet found convergence points in various issues involving the climate change negotiations and still put national priorities above the need to find a way for a truly global agreement.
There is a song getting quite famous at the COP 20 which says that the Heads of State and other negotiators are like paper men who are only interested in power and money and do not respect nature. Here in Lima we realize that unfortunately there are many paper men.
During the Saturday morning negotiations, members of the plenary of the Durban Platform (which will set the foundations of the new agreement to be signed in Paris next year) learned of a new typhoon, the Hagupit, which hit the Philippines and left many people homeless on the east coast. And it seems that the worst is yet to come, because according to forecasts this current typhoon will be worse than that which devastated the country last year.
The news seem not to have sensitize the negotiators from Saudi Arabia that a few minutes later during the negotiations, asked to withdraw from the base text any mention to keep the temperature increase to 2 °C or 1.5 °C by the end of the next century and leave a vacant on the text, without any concrete commitment for all nations.
Australia during the week also gave its share of contribution to the “blockade” of the negotiations by declaring that they will not contribute with any financial incentives to the Green Climate Fund (Green Climate Fund), which aims to raise funds to finance mitigation and adaptation projects for climate change.
The process of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and its endless debates about details often nothing constructive are not compatible with the urgent need to take concrete decisions which the subject demands. On the second day of negotiations of the Durban Platform representatives of countries took all afternoon debating whether the text should be revised paragraph-by-paragraph or line-by-line! Concrete results…none!
So we can’t be blamed for not talking of flowers: Panama donated one million dollars to the Green Fund slapping in the face of all developed countries and developing countries like Brazil, China and India that have not made contributions.
The attitude already had an effect and Norway one day later doubled its contribution reaching $230 million in total. But unfortunately what was discussed in the past COPs and the rate at which is being debated the current COP are not in the necessary speed that is needed to combat climate change.
Here in Lima we ask ourselves: how many typhoons and other major disasters will be necessary for the paper men to do something really concrete?