Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Critical Goals of COP21 (UNCC Summit, Paris 2015)

5 Demands from UN Climate Change Summit 2015

The 5 Critical Goals of COP21

Many countries have submitted national pledges to cut carbon emissions ahead of COP21, the Paris 2015 UN Climate Change Summit (30 November – 11 December 2015).  Unfortunately, the collective commitment is simply “too little, too late” which would instead warm the world at least from 2.7°C (Celsius) according to the UN. Truth is it is not enough to prevent dangerous warming.  Radical mindset changes in strategic and planning paradigms are needed even as countries attempted to “tweak” improvements in their respective pledges to achieve the long-term goal that is consistent with limiting global warming.

The 2015 Paris Meeting hopes for the first time over 20 years of UN negotiations to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on containing climate change, specifically by keeping global warming below 2°C.

The 5 Critical Goals of COP21

Failure to achieve any of these in a significantly meaningful manner will doom COP21 to be truly the “last best hope” for earth’s survival before we are literally burnt off this planet which we have repeatedly abused and misused its resources.

[1]  Global Climate Leadership

No one wants to repeat the crazy last minute drama at the  2009 Copenhagen Summit when various national leaders were hopeful for a binding global deal which did not materialize but ended with a lame “letter of intent”.  Then and now, there is no one even among the most powerful world leaders who possess the passion, enthusiasm and active leadership to lead this charge. 


Once again, COP21 participants can expect world leaders to lecture them from their often limited understanding or mis-understanding of the impact of climate change on themselves and their people. A sharper sense and vision of the greater global good must prevail this time to embrace inclusiveness instead of acrimonious blame-attribution for their political constituents back home. 

It is disingenuous to always blame China and India, who are only fast growing industrial nations in the last decade, for their associated carbon emissions when other G20 nations are actually be more culpable for the cumulative carbon emissions over the past 40-90 years leading to the global warming and unacceptable climate change today.

Global warming has become dangerously real and impending irrespective of one’s agreement with climate science.  Merely holding global temperature increase to less than 2°C is indeed long overdue, but is at best delusional given the absence of global climate leadership among leaders of the world’s top 20 nations who are also mainly responsible for the most carbon emissions.

An Eminent Group of World Climate Leaders (EGWCL) should emerge at COP21.  They are thought-leaders who set examples for themselves through personal examples and innovative thinking which are evident in their own countries.  They do not have to be politicians; just serious and intelligent persons who are passionate in the interest for the greater good and a leaner, better, more equal and equitable society.    

[2]  Corporate Responsibility and Accountability

Many major global companies of many G20 and developing nations are among notorious long-term polluters like oil and mining companies. They should be regarded as climate criminals and held more culpable and responsible for the pollutions and carbon emissions from their worldwide operations, including within India, China and many developing countries.  COP21 should initiate international legal and regulatory programs with other relevant United Nations agencies to monitor, enforce and persecute “climate criminals”, in the same manner like the UN Law of the Sea Convention. 


A “Law of the Climate Convention” (LOCC) shall direct international efforts to make fossil fuel history by defining the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of non-renewable fossil-based energy, establishing renewable energy guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of natural productive resources. The LOCC shall impact fossil fuel industries and their conglomerate of associated interests to contain and limit their commercial profitability with the same ferocity and intensity as the world has done with the poisonous and dangerous tobacco industry which kills 50% of its customers.

[3]  Make Fossil Fuel History

There can be no escape from the certainty of fatal climate change without a global political commitment to make fossil fuels history. The single most significant major cause of carbon emissions is the relentless use of fossil fuels eg coal, petroleum, natural gas … etc. 

For years, many scientific studies by the United Nations and other credible research institutes have all concluded that human activities in the past 250 years are responsible for global warming of nearly 2°C due to increasing massive greenhouse gas emission from the burning of fossil fuel (coal, petroleum and gas) for rapid industrial development.  The final solution is simple – make fossil fuel history.

Sweden has recently announced her goal to be among the first nations in the world to end her dependence on fossil fuels.  Sweden already makes two-thirds of its electricity from non-fossil energy sources. The government has also announced that it will be spending money on smart grids, an electric bus fleet, subsidies for green cars, and climate adaptation strategies. 

COP21 should make the battle-cry “Make Fossil Fuels History” its very own.

[4]  Funds for Measurable Action

“Put money where your mouth is please”.  In pursuit of her goal to make fossil fuel history, Sweden has also announced that it will invest an extra US$546 million into renewable energy and climate change in its 2016 budget. 

COP21 should define and articulate an empowering agenda for monitoring and measuring national climate change initiatives and performances.  It is not aimed at regulation and control but at procuring and directing funds from various international funding agencies to support and drive worthy national efforts like Sweden towards ultimate climate change victories.  The relative cost vs beneficial economics of fossil vs renewals guarantee the wisdom of investing in the “make fossil fuel history” movement.  When the social costs of pollutions and climate change are privatized to the culpable “climate criminals”, it no longer makes sense for them to stay in the business for much longer.

UBS, as the largest private bank in the world, has openly encouraged its investors to join the clean, renewable energy movement. The banks analysts are already predicting that the renewable energy movement could likely drive European power plants to extinction within the next 20 years.

[5]  Create a Commons Agency to Win the Climate War

For a long time, human progress was guided by a different set of principles than the current industrialized, market-driven system now accepted as the natural order of the universe. A different way of life characterized by sharing and collaboration rather than production for production’s sake is needed in order to win the Climate War. 

The Commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest. The Commons owns Climate Change; and victory over the Climate War can only be obtained with resources in the Commons.

The Commons broadens people’s vision from what is mine to what is ours, allowing us to see that we are losing more in the quest for ever-more stuff and money than we are gaining. And while defenders of the status quo will roar that a Commons way of life defies human nature, the truth is humans have lived this way for most of history. If human existence is to continue in the centuries ahead, it’s crucial that we rediscover this sense of what belongs to all of us together.

The Commons means “what we share together”, distinct from what we own separately. It’s a form of wealth belonging to all of us, which is there for everyone to use so long as we take care to ensure there’s enough for future generations.  

In the wintry Paris of 2015, the battle for mankind’s survival cannot be won with the same mindset and cultural practices that created today’s unacceptable climate change. Victory over climate change is not a zero-sum game. Mankind and all creation either prevail in unison or perish into oblivion together.  It demands global climate leadership and a coordinated international effort and political resolve.

COP21 should create a Commons Agency for the War on Climate Change. The Commons Agency would mobilise millions of ordinary people passionate about preserving earth and build an equitable and just society, powered by civil society, Internet initiatives, social media and our own citizenry. It is people power at its most potent to preserve a planet that is worthy of preservation for our generations yet to be born.  Only a Commons Agency can be entrusted with a sustainable future where our children and their children could enjoy as good or better development advantages without having to pay more than we did for our own.  

Play your part.  Share this with your followings via whatever social media so as to reach your Influencers attending COP21 so that we, the Commons, can assure and affirm the successful achievements of the 5 critical goals of COP21.


1 comment:

  1. Climate change is a serious thing. All we need to do is cooperate to succeed.

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