Dear readers of the Climate Youth Japan blog!
My name is Monika, and I come from Poland and study at Osaka University. This year I am very happy to join Climate Youth Japan at COP19 in Warsaw. As you know, it is only about one month left to the annual summit. Many expect some major issues to be addressed at this meeting. COP19 will focus on developing an agenda for a new treaty that is supposed to be agreed upon by the end of 2015.
I could list so many problems here which we should focus on: participation of major emitters in a new agreement, scope of new mitigation commitments, adaptation and related to it promised financing and technology transfer, solving compliance issues, problems with using flexibility mechanisms such as forest sinks and emission trading...
...this list just keeps on going! So maybe instead of looking at one of these issues, let me focus on something else, something related to improving efficiency of the annual climate change summits. My question is:
How could they decide things faster at COP meetings?
I think that one of the most important issues that should be addressed is how to improve decision-making process during climate change summits. The problem is that all countries must agree in order to make a decision, and often some countries veto progressive policy proposals.
I guess many people are familiar with this 20 years old climate change stalemate, and you may wonder why they have been using consensus-based decision-making process which is so ineffective. It is impossible to expect that 192 countries would agree on something that requires serious financial commitments and may be against national interests. Because of veto power of any country that wants to protect its selfish interests, COP summits are not democratic, and they don’t serve our common good at all.
Some countries such as Mexico and Papua New Guinea have suggested that COP should adopt majority voting, which could speed up negotiations greatly. I hope that serious organizational changes will happen, and that international climate change negotiations will become fast-paced, more dynamic and in line with what is needed to greatly improve our damaged environment. And what do you think about it?