This year’s Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) runs from November 30th until December 11th. Representatives of over 190 governments will try to reach agreement on measures to reduce human emissions that are causing climate change and on ways to adapt to the impacts that are already being experienced in places like the small island states of the Pacific.
As with previous meetings, the two weeks allocated may not be long enough to reach decisions on some of the more contentious issues. For example, questions of funding are always difficult. But consider for a moment Item 11 of the main agenda: basically, the adequacy of Annex I Parties’ (rich, developed countries) measures to mitigate climate change. At the 1998 conference in Buenos Aires (COP4) it proved impossible to reach agreement or a decision on this item. It’s been deferred or there’s been a failure to reach agreement on it ever since. Now, 17 years later it’s on the provisional agenda yet again.