COP 18 is the 18th international meeting to address the climate change problem. It is held in Doha . I listened the news in the radio this morning with quite a clear summary of the challenges involved and by the way a good explanation of climate change causes, encouraging but an exception, I would bet that most of my friends, family, coworkers have not heard about it.
This meetings should be very important as climate change problem requires global solutions to be shared by most countries. However, the previous meetings have been at least partially frustrating as the advance is slow and the discussions are more predominant than the agreements. The figure below shows that the world emission path has continued to go upwards in spite of 17 COP meetings, so reached agreements are clearly insufficient. But we, the humans, need time to get agreements, the problem is that we are running out of the time to get a reasonable agreement for a reasonable future climate.
Graph showing CO2 emission path last years, data from IEA
Media could play an important role to make those meetings more efficient and to help people know what is discussed there and how all of us are affected. A convinced world population could be a great force to seriously start climate change mitigation instead of adaptation.
By the way, the guest country Qatar is ranked 1st in per capita emissions in spite of their last year reductions (last figure). The comparison with USA, Germany, Japan or China (4 out of 5 economic powers in the world) is quite significant. If all of us would be emitting so much CO2 (I do not think it is possible) we would live in an oven.
CO2 per capita emissions for 5 countries including Qatar (source of data CDIAC)
A building in maintenance work
Last week we held a long meeting in my building home community to decide about some important and expensive maintenance works we should do and I remembered Durban COP17. Why? Lets find the common points:
1.- The decision is common, we all have the share of the responsibility because the common parts of the building belongs to everyone, and we will all suffer the consequences of our decision. But not all to the same point.
2.- We are not in the same economic situation, although this is sometimes less clear than it seems.
3.- The works to be done are expensive in short term. But not doing them will be more expensive.
4.- We have serious difficulties to get agreements and sometimes we need several useless meetings for that.
5.- Some blame each other for not taking care of their part of the building.
But there are some notable differences too:
1.- In Durban it is accepted that Climate Change is occurring and that it is important. This seems basic but it is the beginning because at home some have some doubts about the need to make the maintenance works.
2.- At home we more or less know each share in the cost, even the ones that do not like it. In Durban this is a discussion.
3.- At home most accept that the problem is the age of the building in spite of some mutual criticism. In the world we know (most of us) that the problem has been created by us.
Will we reach an agreement? At home we are reaching some kind of it, maybe in the world too but it will be at time?