The UN Conference Of the Parties (COP) on climate change

Brilliance is better expressed in cartoons, paintings, photos, and live demos. One of the great photos of such brilliance is where a man in the photo is cutting down trees, with the caption “Humans are the only creatures in this world who will cut down a tree, make paper from it, and then write, ‘save the trees on it.

For three decades in a row, the United Nations has been bringing the world together to confront the common enemy –climate change. The problem seems to continue intensifying as if to protest. A lot needs to be done.

The COP conferences are now turning into a talk show of shorts. World leaders meet and talk and talk. The developed nations seem to be mastering lip service at the expense of firm commitments to addressing the challenges caused by years of neglect and denial of reckless human practices specifically continued use of poor technology in electricity generation, indiscriminate deforestation, and of course over industrialization.

The UN’s COP is not holding global leaders accountable. It only gives them a platform to talk and promise. That is all. Why I say so:

  • Who are the world’s top 50 polluters? How much of their national GDPs are they allocating to the climate change fund? The UN must resolve this end. At every COP conference, give a status report on countries that complied.
  • Deforestation is a huge contribution to adverse climate change. What is the current forest cover globally? What is the current state of forest cover per country in the face of the earth today? What are the UN’s resolutions on afforestation and preserving the environment for all member states? The minimum forest cover per country must be set depending on the respective target forest cover. Countries without forest cover must be given targets to reduce emissions.
  • Industrialization is a big danger to our world. The developed nations are top polluters. The UN must produce a list of the top global polluters based on the technology in use and set pollution targets and constantly monitor them. The COP conference is an opportunity for the world leaders to make a status report on how they performed against the set UN targets, the lessons learned, and the new focus.

I could go on and on.

As people living in countries classified as “developing” or “poor”, we get concerned when we watch the leaders of developed countries regret and cry wolf about the impact of climate change without defining specific milestones they have made.

We all know the drivers of adverse climate change. We need resolutions, action, and monitoring of progress. I hope after COP Glasgow, the next time world leaders meet they will show us the progress made and the results of their commitment to making our world a better place.

We do not have any other earth. This is the only one we have got.

Let’s babysit it.

Let the UN Conference of Parties not literary be about parties and partying. But rather about real action against climate change. The time for action is now. Save the speeches for another generation.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, 2021. All rights reserved.

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