21st Conference of the Parties, Paris, Sunday December 6

21st Conference of the Parties, Paris, Sunday December 6 by Tom Peterson.

The second week began in earnest today as national ministers arrived to assume the lead for negotiations following remarkably positive guidance from over 150 heads of state early last week, and follow up condensation of negotiation text from 300 to 20 pages — indicative of a high level agreement to come. At a US reception Sunday evening former Vice President Al Gore recalled the road we have travelled since the days of Kyoto protocol negotiations in the mid 1990’s — of which I was a part — and the sober mood that has has overtaken the task at hand. Discussions today are less ideological, more practical, and carry a sense of actuality not felt before. The world has been gripped by economic crisis, war, and enviromental threats that connect with increasing clarity. It appears that the handwriting is on the wall for a new level action on climate change steeped in two decades of hard lessons learned, yet all depends on the week ahead and resolution of two primary issues: economic need and equity. We’ll have more as the week develops on these underlying drivers of political will and emerging thought leadership. Tom Peterson, CCS/JHU Center for Climate Strategies Chair Steven Chester, former Director of the Michigan Environment Cabinet, and Former Vice President Al Gore discuss the role of US leadership and global common ground.

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