Did the UN Climate Summit Matter? Three Upcoming Events Will Tell the Tale.
Did the UN Climate Summit September 23 really help move the world closer to a global agreement to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Cushman says the answer to that question will depend on three upcoming milestones: presentation of a draft treaty at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima later this year, release of individual country commitments a few months later, and final negotiations at the 2015 COP in Paris. “Major environmental and other non-governmental organizations that are heavily invested in the treaty process, such as the World Resources Institute, painted the events as a major success story,” he writes. But “unless the environmental movement provides the power to overcome the political resistance that for decades has hobbled U.S. negotiators at climate treaty talks, the demonstrators who thronged 50 blocks of midtown Manhattan might as well have stretched their legs on 310,000 treadmills.”