Delegates from around the world are meeting in Germany this week to lay the groundwork for what they hope will be a landmark international accord addressing climate change in December 2015. But there’s a parallel conference going on halfway around the world that, although it’s receiving much less media attention, may be the best bet for a globally coordinated response to climate issues. The BBC reports on the Globe summit in Mexico City:
The focus is on helping each member state to pass its own climate change laws. Legislation will be developed and tailored to each country’s own national interests. […]The expertise shared by lawmakers at the conferences have had a far-reaching impact. The vice-chairman of China’s powerful economic planning ministry, the National Development and Reform Commission, recently described it as “invaluable to the development of China’s legislation on climate change”.
This seems like a far better use of time than global confabs like the one taking place in Bonn right now, aimed at preparing nations for yet another crack at bagging the Great Green Unicorn of a binding international treaty. The sharing of best practices may not be as sexy as some sweeping, binding accord on greenhouse gas emissions, but what it lacks in ambition it makes up for with pragmatism.Time and again, countries have burned thousands of tons of jet fuel sending representatives to summits all over the world with the hopes of brokering a binding climate deal. Time and again, those representatives have returned home with nothing to show for their efforts besides the emissions from their flights and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of credulity. If these efforts didn’t so often come at the expense of more practical steps, we might admire their never-say-die spirit.The Globe conferences won’t solve anything on their own, but at least someone is finally focusing on bringing climate goals in pragmatic alignment with national interests.