The 19th annual Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change wrapped up in Warsaw, Poland over the weekend. COP 19 as it was called, was a 2 week high-level international meeting for governments worldwide to agree on a framework in preparation to sign a comprehensive treaty on curbing climate change in 2015 in Paris, France.
The conference may have been doomed from the start with the host nation sponsoring a major coal industry symposium simultaneously and Australia and Japan announcing off the bat that they would no longer adhere to some past agreements on emissions.
The opening days of the meeting witnessed great drama as one of the deadliest storms ever to be recorded slammed into the Philippines, sparking a daring public hunger strike by the Philippines climate negotiator Yeb Saño.
And then, in the second week, the conference saw the largest ever walkout by civil society groups in protest of the unfolding failure of negotiations.
Some of the usual “blame-game” dynamics between rich industrialized nations and emerging economies played out, while poor countries who were organized enough to submit climate adaptation programs in writing, and who stand to lose the most in a warm planet, were left on the sidelines.
The meeting’s end came as a major cyclone hit India’s East Coast prompting the evacuation of 100,000 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars of crop damage. Meanwhile, here in the US, a major set of storms prepares to slam into Eastern Coastal states.
GUEST: Jamie Henn, director of communications and strategy for the international climate campaign 350.org
Click here to read some of Jamie Henn’s writings.