All photos: Matthew McDermott
With the dust still settling in the wake of the weak facade of a climate agreement at COP15 two weeks ago, IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri hasn't wasted any time in stating his beliefs on what we'll see in 2010: More anti-climate lobbying, trying to block a global deal. And what we'll need to counter it: Greater civil society and grassroots action to push governments. From his latest piece in The Guardian:Pachauri singles out the United States, highlighting the fact that there are now four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress --something which has held for nearly a year now. He also points to the efforts to discredit climate scientists in the 'Climategate' non-scandal, and efforts to personally discredit him, attempting to say that he is profiting via The Energy and Resources Institute. All these Pachauri says are just signs of more to come.
"Powerful vested interests are perhaps likely to get overactive in the coming months, and would perhaps do everything in their power to impeded progress towards a binding agreement that is hoped for by the end of 2010 in the next major climate negotiations in Mexico City."
Knowledge May Triumph, But Quickly Enough?
In the end Pachauri says "knowledge and science will undoubtedly triumph" but delay will lead to ever greater impact on the world's poor communities.
True enough on the impact side of things, but considering the forces arrayed against civil society and that grassroots movement which Pachauri is increasingly touting as being a crucial component to combating climate change, I'm not convinced incremental change will occur quickly enough, the triumph of knowledge and science coming too slowly, to avert devastating ecosystem changes and communal damage in much of the world.
Stronger Grassroots Action Needed to Bridge National Differences
A call to action for grassroots activists, and an indictment of the nature of politics: "If such grassroots efforts do not spread and intensify, nation states many not be able to resolve the differences that exist between them. It is becoming increasingly clear that the spread of knowledge and awareness would be a critical driver of the transformation that is required to move human society towards a pattern of sustainable development."
Now let's just hope at COP16 civil society doesn't get shut out of the action for the half the time, like they were in Copenhagen...
Read all of Pachauri's piece: Climate change has no time for delay or denial
Global Climate Change
Report: Now 4 Climate Change Lobbyists for Every Member of Congress
COP15 in a Nutshell: We've Agreed Not to Do Anything Meaningful at This Time, Maybe Later
Focus on Green Economic Development in Developing Countries, Not Just Emissions Reductions