I’m here at the UN’s Cancun Climate Conference—or COP16 (Conference of the Parties) in the jargon. The last two COPs in Poznan (2008) and Copenhagen (2009) were (ironically) characterized by exceptionally cold weather. I can’t say that there’s December snow in Cancun, but locals tell me it’s exceptionally cool for the time of year. But then again, that’s Climate Change for you!
This is the world’s travelling circus; the moveable feast; the great eco-love-in. We have some 15,000 delegates (including me — I’m accredited for the EU which is a great irony since I am hugely skeptical of the EU as well as the myth of man-made climate change). Of course 99% of the delegates are paid-up true believers in Al Gore’s Great Climate Myth, so everyone here agrees with each other, reinforcing their opinion that Al Gore’s view is the only sane view to have. I take a profoundly different view
Copenhagen carried huge hopes and optimism, and ended in failure and recrimination. Cancun is the mirror image. Expectations have been managed down to zero though, so any tiny nugget of success will be hugely overhyped. And there will be nuggets—probably on forestry, on technology transfer, and on a “Cancun Fund” to combat climate change (watch out for that one, because you know who’ll be paying – you, the taxpayer). But the Holy Grail, of a legally binding emissions agreement, looks as far off as ever, and they’re already whistling in the wind and talking of “laying the stepping stones for COP17 in Durban in 2011”.
No fewer than 215 organizations took exhibition space here at the Cancun Messe (aptly named).