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.