COP 16? Really? Why?

So far, the two most common responses after hearing about the trip to COP 16 are about:

  1. (1) Sunshine, not surprising given the lack of it in Vermont lately.
  2. (2) Pessimistic opinions about how nothing is expected to happen, also not surprising given what happened in Copenhagen.


    Cancunmesse: Venue for COP 16. Photo courtesy of

Targets set by the Copenhagen Accord are not good enough to stop climate change. No heads of state are even to attend COP 16. Expectations are very low. So why even go? I hope to learn from Latin American countries who, like Vermont, have significant greenhouse gas emissions coming from land use, agricultural and forestry.  I hope to share with them what is being done in Vermont and other parts of the U.S. I’m not holding my breath for internationally binding commitments to solve this problem, so I am interested to see what is being done locally and regionally in different parts of the world. I already know that I will have trouble deciding between events. If anyone has an interest in any specific side events, please let me know, I could easily be convinced to check it out over another event.  Currently the forecast is “mostly cloudy” – not much better than people’s expectations for this COP. We will see what happens.

5 thoughts on “COP 16? Really? Why?

  1. – i wonder why 115 leaders went to cop15 in the first place?

    – can you haggle margarita prices?

    – side event: Adaptation Fund Board to attend the side event at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico titled Innovative Finance and Direct Access – From Accreditation to Project Implementation, which will be held on Friday, December 3 from 1:20-2:40pm in Pitaya Room.

  2. Though I understand you are in attendance of a convention filled with like minded people, what inferences can you draw regarding the sentiments of local citizens (or their representatives) about climate change? Is the issue as salient in Mexico (whose government arguably lacks enough control to fully maintain civil society, forget about regulating environmental compliance of powerful business interests)as it is in the United States? Or do the locals seem too concerned about their next paycheck or the next hurricane to worry the ocean is slowly approaching the doorstep of the hotel they work at? If this is the case, which I hope it is not, do you think a public relations campaign would be effective in combating their apathy? Thank you for your time.

  3. Hi Bernie, you responded to Prof. Garvey who’s in Cancun now, this is Dan, the other VLS person attending, I’ll be there starting early next week. I do not know how the average Mexican feels about climate change. However the Mexican government’s 2009-2012 Special Climate Change Program Executive Summary says that “climate change represents the primary environmental challenge of this century and that, in the medium and long-term, it represents one of the greatest threats to human development and well-being.” Another document, Mexico’s 4th Communication to the UNFCCC says that most of Mexico’s 31 states as of 2009 were training for their state climate action plans and that the state of Chihuahua had completed its. Mexico also sees climate change as a threat to its biodiversity, of which it is very proud.

  4. Thanks for the comment. I have been asking locals how they feel about the conference. I think I need to ask without my badge because I have the sense that people are saying what I want to hear. I think many in the tourist industry have been trained to know how the conference is important to the local economy, but don’t know exactly what is going on. I had a travel agent ask me to describe what was going on at the conference and he was disappointed that most attendees would be working and not available for excursions. I arrived early to spend Thanksgiving with my family and was able to scuba dive one day. Our dive guide was more aware and concerned about climate issues, but was equally disappointed that several key dive spots have been shut down for security.

  5. Luciel (nice name friend of our malamutes Lucy, Zeus and Brutus) I will try to go to the Innovative Finance and Direct Access – sounds interesting.

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