On the Eve of Hopenhagen

I really should be in bed in right now. It sort of feels like Christmas eve, the night before the day where you really, really hope that you will get everything you want, neatly packaged with a red satin ribbon. But the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) is a little different. We already know that we won’t get everything we want, that the climate change santa won’t deliver a legally binding treaty that cuts global carbon emissions down to the level that scientists say our atmosphere can safely hold. We’re not likely to get large enough financial pledges from industrialized countries to have developing countries develop without destroying their natural environment. We’re not going to solve the climate crisis in Copenhagen, that much is clear.

So if we’re not solving the climate crisis, then why have 30,000 people descended upon this city for the next two weeks? I like to think that we’re a little like that kid, tossing and turning the night of Christmas eve, burning with hope of what might lie underneath that Christmas tree. We know that we won’t get that beautiful, green economy we want but I truly believe that we can make progress on a number of key issues. We are already seeing ghg emissions targets from countries who seemed as though they would never commit, countries like China, the U.S., Brazil and India. Granted, none of these targets are as deep as they should be, but they are a start. I want to see these cuts go deeper and I know this can happen.

We have started to see a global acknowledgement that “survival is not negotiable,” an acknowledgement that we are negotiating with our world’s survival and that for many small island countries, they are already facing extinction. I know that we can push the governments of industrialized countries to commit financially to helping developing countries adapt. How are we going to do this? Well, check out the launch of Project Survival in the last conference of the parties in Poznan, Poland.

Expect a lot more to come throughout the next two weeks. We’re may not be able to solve the climate crisis, but if we all work together, we can make sure that this is a very merry climate christmas.