Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On Cancún

I have nothing meaningful to add to the conversation, so I'll cede comment here to Boz:
Mexico is showing real leadership on this issue, unilaterally setting ambitious goals to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and implementing policies that have already begun to make a dent in that number. From the beginning of his term, President Calderon has made domestic and international environmental issues a key concern. The key topic of the first meeting between Presidents Obama and Calderon: Clean Energy and Climate Change (Calderon thanked the Obama administration for changing the direction of US policy on the issue).

Unfortunately, few people expect a major breakthrough at the Cancun meeting. There will be a lot of countries pointing fingers and blaming each other while very few leaders will make productive proposals or, like Mexico, unilaterally commit to improving their environmental conditions. The knowledge that the world's two biggest polluters, China and the US, have domestic situations that will likely prevent meaningful climate change measures from being implemented in the next year will also stall action at the meeting.

Still, I'm an optimist and hope that common sense prevails and at least minor reforms are agreed upon or a framework for future negotiations is achieved. Every year that the world lacks action on climate change makes it that much harder for Latin America and the Caribbean to adapt to the devastating environmental effects that are already taking place.

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