VIDEO: THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS IN 83 SECONDS
Sometimes a simple visual makes everything so clear, like this quick cartoon outlining the history of climate change negotiations.
Basic story: everybody agrees that carbon emissions should be cut, but no one wants to make painful cuts by themselves, and the problem gets shuffled around.
Although this video was released on YouTube a year ago by the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, the latest round of climate negotiations have proved just as fruitless as the previous attempts.
The Warsaw negotiations were an embarrassing step backwards in some ways, with countries backing away from making “commitments” to cutting their carbon emissions (which might necessitate serious action) to agreeing to make “contributions” to international efforts to cut emissions.
It’s currently unclear whether those contributions will be more or less stringent than the cuts previous deals required. But the wording change is significant as it blurs a “20-year-old distinction between the obligations of rich and poor nations”, as Reuters notes.
The announcement that a deal had been reached was met with cheers in the conference hall, climate news website, RTCC, reports. The BBC says the compromise has allowed countries to save face. It says the US and EU can insist everyone is on the same page, while China and India can claim they are doing something different from the richer countries.