Like being in a bandit’s nest!

Ange David Baimey 
Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement Cote d'Ivoire

One wouldn’t be able to deny it anymore, common sense in the international climate negotiations is like kindness in a bandit’s nest. Or how else is it possible to understand that, at a time when Somalia suffered from extreme events and when the Philippines continued to count their many losses, the developed countries and some countries in transitions continued to ignore the never-ending calls from people in danger?

Bad faith is growing within the climate negotiations!

The strategic and economic interests prevail over the lives of people from Nepal, Nigeria or Tanzania, and the desire to not change anything becomes the norm as COPs come and go.

Some (and I’m not one of them) saw the COP in Warsaw just as a step without anything major at stake. A “transition COP” as some said! A warm-up before the big game!

A moment of test, a moment where the developed countries would make a bitter face to dissuade developing countries to raise the bar of their demands and voice stronger recriminations. A step where, from the very first moments, developing countries had to be rebuked in their demands for equity that were seen as a one-way street, and thus as a threat for already meager finances, depleted by economic crises and recessions.

A negotiation strategy that proved to be successful for big emitters, a masterstroke that event left many actors at the end of the Warsaw COP with a feeling of success, when it really was a big failure that opens the door to further failures in Lima and in Le Bourget in 2015.

In fact, this is simple to read and already the picture is getting clearer because, if all the fundaments and principles of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are questioned, and if the IPCC’s message continues to fall on deaf ears, what else should we expect other than a bis repetita!

All these “déjà vus” continue to endanger the life of over 1 million Africans, to widen already huge gaps and to increase inequalities and social injustice. This lack of will, this this lack of lucidity, this bad faith unfortunately continue to be a shared perspective within the negotiations!

“When will this cycle of endless speeches and discussions end?” I was asked by a woman in a rural community when I came back from Warsaw. My silence was perceived as a wordless expression of my helplessness.

When indeed will the battle for economics, geopolitics and security interests end? When will 195 parties be able to find an agreement that goes beyond their differences in interests?

A Togolese friend told me during the Warsaw COP that according to a say in his village, when one puts calabashes on a stream, they end up touching each other, and then colliding with each other. This means that if 2 entities have to co-exist in a defined space, they will necessarily encounter clashes or conflicts in the course of that co-existence. But the most important thing is to make sure that this co-existence does not lead them to destruction.

This is the great story of multilateralism that we need to save at any cost to not allow all sorts of abuses to prosper and to threaten a peaceful coexistence.

 

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