Thursday, December 17, 2009

300 is the New Climate Change Number Today

350 is the key climate change number - the maximum global atmospheric concentration that the planet can sustain without catastrophic effects from global warming.

The number of today and tomorrow is 300. This is the number of the 17,000 or so observers that were accredited to attend the Copenhagen conference that are allowed to come into the conference today and tomorrow. They were here to bear witness to this effort, bringing honesty, transparency and ambition to this crucial enterprise. The number of environmentalists is 54. The number of Canadian environmentalists is 3.

I am privileged to be among this small number, but am not comfortable with it with so many others excluded.

I was chosen by the International Climate Action Network to be one of the few that still gets access to this globally important conference because I chair its working group on forestry and land use. I see my job in the next couple of days to deliver a strong outcome not only for the forests and the millions that care about this issue, but also for the hundreds of forest campaigners and thousands of climate campaigners who are being explicitly denied access to this same opportunity.

However, the extent of my possible influence is unclear. Negotiators sit in a closed door meeting right now trying to resolve issues that have been unresolved for years. In a way I feel we've exerted most of our influence already - by bringing international public attention to the logging loophole that most developed countries brought to the table here.

Hopefully I've created a space for a better outcome. And I will look for any opportunity to use my presence here to do more.


Jill said...

we're all cheering for you back in Canada Chris - show us proud! ~Jill

Chris Henschel said...

Thanks Jill!

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