Global environmental challenges
Vultures circle over U.N. climate talks
“They’ve been attracted by all the delegates falling asleep inside,” one official joked.
(I missed those vultures, but when I tried to get a picture of a group on the grass to try to illustrate this blog they flapped off before I was close enough … The picture on the left is of a vulture in Spain).
The Aug. 21-27 talks among 160 countries working on a new treaty to fight climate change moved at a glacial pace even though the United Nations said they were making progress, for instance, in defining how to give tropical countries incentives to slow deforestation. Burning trees is a big source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Getting countries from Albania to Zimbabwe to agree to a new treaty to fight climate change by the end of 2009 as planned is clearly going to be a gigantic jigsaw, but some things could be simplified.
Many governments say fighting climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world, so why not design talks with a bit more built-in urgency?
– How about starting meetings on time? Sessions now start like clockwork — between 15 and 25 minutes after the appointed time.
– Speakers often feel obliged to spend half a minute or more praising the chairman, the host country, donors etc for arranging the talks before they get to the point. Why not streamline the formalities?
Any other ideas?