Political Climate is limbering up just as the very odd Copenhagen Accord process is reaching its first milestone; the listing of countries that wish to associate themselves with it and the filling in of the curiously sparse appendixes I and II, due by 31 January 2010.
Remember that the Accord was drafted by Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the US in the final hours of the Copenhagen summit in December and agreed by a wider group of big economic players only to be downgraded in the final plenary session due to the objections of a collection of awkward squad and anti US countries.
A letter posted by the UNFCCC Secretariat on its website invites ‘Parties’ to the UNFCCC to let it know whether they want to be listed in the Accord’s chapeau. The Accord appears to have no legal standing whatsoever and so the whole process is very peculiar indeed, not least the Secretariat’s role, which is something akin to a condemned man carrying his own noose to the gallows.
This is only really worthy of mention because the Accord is, if nothing else, a measure of the politics of climate change. Whatever its technicalities or legal significance, the three pages of political concorde that emerged from Copenhagen exist as a reminder that for all the public campaigning, political advocacy and background number crunching that preceded COP 15, leaders can currently go no further than this.
So what’s next? Will more of the same help change the political conditions? We don’t think so. And that’s why we’ve started Political Climate; in the hope that we can embark on a climate change journey with an alternative destination.