Paris has been in the news and on our minds over the past few weeks in the wake of the deadly, horrific attacks there on the night of November 13, 2015. For those of us engaged in the field of climate and energy law and policy, though, we’ve had our sights set on Paris much longer: the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather there from November 30 through December 11 to set the stage for the next step in the planet’s response to climate change.
The “road to Paris” is very different than the “road to Copenhagen” six years ago, when high expectations were dashed that a successor to the Kyoto Protocol would be inked by world leaders. I spoke with Jeremy Martin, the Energy Program director at the Institute of the Americas, a couple of months ago about the differences between the two approaches. It’s recorded in a podcast here: https://www.iamericas.org/media/com_podcastmanager/files/energy/Interview_TimDuane.mp3.
You’ll see a lot rhetorical excess in the press during the Paris COP—some will claim that Paris will save us from the effects of climate change, while others will say it is all futile. The rhetoric of climate change—or, as I’ve begun to refer to it, climate disruption—colors how we perceive the risks and opportunities associated with the issue. I commented on the importance of language and framing in another recent post as a blog interview with CityWorks here: https://cityworksinc.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/climate-disruption-the-new-global-warming/. I think you can see why I haven’t posted on my own web site lately!
I’ll be commenting here on the post-Paris prospects in December, though, and I look forward to announcing another exciting project I’ve been working on sometime in 2016. Until then, I hope my comments on “slargon” and the road to Paris help you make sense of the Paris COP.