In this video, Andrew Deutz, director of International Government Relations at The Nature Conservancy, discusses progress at the half-way mark of the UN climate change talks. He will also be answering your questions online this week here.
Last year at the circus-like Copenhagen UN climate change conference, a colleague of mine said we just needed to figure out a way to separate the business class from the tourist class. He meant that the negotiators could happily make progress if they could be kept separate from the protests and the side events.
The irony is that we’re all in tourist class this year – in sunny Cancún – and it seems to be creating a much more business-like environment.
For starters, the logistics here are not at all like they were in Copenhagen. Instead of standing in long lines waiting in the cold and dark to get into the Bella Center, we’re traveling around on buses between the venues and the hotels. We take a 30-minute bus ride to the Cancún Messe, where non-profit and government events happen and we’re checked for security, then we take a 15-minute ride to the Moon Palace, where the negotiations are happening. The media center is another short bus ride from there.
The advantage here is that the negotiators are brought together in one place without all the distractions prevalent at the one venue in Copenhagen. That means they’re actually getting down to business.
The Mexican government has also been doing a really good job of managing the process, keeping expectations in check, and keeping things moving forward. If we can just get the political will we need on a couple of key issues, we might just have something to show for it a week from now.
Video by: Paul Mackie/The Nature Conservancy
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