A world united?

A climate change marcher at The Wave in London six years ago

To get 195 nations to agree anything is pretty good. To get them to agree something pretty good is exceptionally good.

Six years ago I was one of many people, was it 40,000 or so (?), who marched on The Wave through the streets of London ahead for the Copenhagen climate talks. I was lucky enough to be in a group of environmentalists who had a chat with Gordon Brown around the cabinet table in Downing Street ahead of the climate talks in Denmark.  We had hopes, although not very high ones – but those talks were an awful failure and have cast a pall over international climate change talks ever since.

The Copenhagen talks were seen as climate negotiations – who would give the most and the least – rather than talks in search of a solution to a dire problem. And they failed, but perhaps their failure helped to get a much better result this time around.  This time, six years later, the world has come together and acted like an almost wise species, and has come up with something that is halfway to a solution. Half way? Half way because it now needs to be implemented and more needs to be done but it is a very good start. It would have been an even better start six years ago but you can’t have everything.

It is at moments like this when one can feel more hope for the human race.

Laurent Fabius ‘I am looking around the room, I see that the reaction is positive, I don’t hear any objection‘.

Barack Obama ‘the best chance we have to save the one planet we have‘.

David Cameron ‘a huge step forward in securing the future of the planet‘.

Jean-Claude Juncker ‘Today the world is united in the fight against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies’.

Prakash Javadekar, India environment minister ‘We have opened a new chapter of hope in the lives of 7 billion people on the planet. We have (the planet) on loan from future generations. We have today reassured these future generations that we will all together… give them a better earth’.

BBC News

ITV news



The UK was part of an EU delegation – the EU bus was heading in the same direction as the rest of the world. Just imagine if we got off the bus, got into our own banger of a mini, and let George Osborne take the wheel – we’d be heading in the opposite direction to everyone else.


The message in London a few weeks ago



15 Replies to “A world united?”

    1. Robert, I’m so glad you found that, it’s added some sun to a cloudy day! Americans, jeeze!
      Having said that, I found something yesterday that I’d never heard of before that seems to have the potential to solve so many issues connected with global warming.
      Have a look at a company called AgriProtien Technologies. Even if their claims are only half true, it’s still brilliant, and like so many good ideas, once somebody has thought of it, it is blindingly obvious. Do look them up.

  1. When someone as indicative and with such ‘green’ credentials as Cameron is quoted saying ‘a huge step forward in securing the future of the planet’ and has been acting as he has for the past few years with regard to all things environmental, I’m afraid I hold no hope for anything coming from Paris.

  2. Mark

    I think the main thing here is ‘hope’.

    With some Governments i do get the feeling that having announced something they think it has happened, with little thought for implementation, so they go on to the next idea.

    I would like to say we can wait and see but unfortunately it is the next generation that will have to do that.

    1. “…. acted like an almost wise species”, so perhaps Mark is well aware that self proclaimed ‘green’ politicians need us all to keep on at them with a regular dose of ‘encouragement’?

      Osborne is for the moment the pump attendant in terms of the ‘fuel’ and Cameron is fond of reverse gear when he thinks folk have taken their eye off the ball?

      The placard says it all, but the austerity distracts focus, and do folk actually believe in themselves enough to be able to seriously influence Westminster & their corporate allies?

      Let’s make 2016 a memorable year, a year for wildlife and for the planet and therefore a year of hope for humanity?

  3. “climate negotiations”

    “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore …” “We (UN-IPCC) redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy…”

    Dr Otto Endenhofer, IPCC co-chair of Working Group 3

  4. The political reaction to COP15 reminded me of a scene in ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’. Blackadder is about to be shot by firing squad. Lt. George and Baldrick come up with a ‘cunning plan’ to save him, and spend the evening drinking and congratulating each other. They completely forget to actually do something.

  5. These promises were made by politicians weren’t they.
    I cannot believe anyone would have any faith in what they promised.
    Just look at lots of population in Beijing with all the masks on,does anyone believe they will slow down on pollution.It is just a short time before some of that pollution affects everyone.
    Policing pollution is a impossible task,so in fact the whole thing was a waste of time.

    1. Hi Dennis
      Your pessimism is understandable but we should not give up hope altogether. If you look at the history of pollution it has not all been bad. In the developed world we have succeeded in improving air quality by many important measures (the London ‘pea-soupers’ are a thing of the past, for example), river water quality has improved and we have succeeded in largely stopping some major pollutants being released into the environment (e.g. DDT, halons and CFCs). It is likely that China will make improvements in air quality and I believe that it is already making important strides in that direction.
      It would be naive to think that these successes mean that we can rest on our laurels as there are many serious pollution problems that remain in the developed and developing worlds, many of which are much more intractable than those which we have succeeded in taming. However, I think they do show that where there is a will progress can be made.
      At any rate we don’t have a lot of choice: the problems are with us and whether we are talking about climate change, urban air quality, nitrogen run-off, potentially harmful impacts of pesticides or any of a number of problems associated with our continued splurging of harmful materials into the environment, we will either have to solve them or learn to adapt to them.

  6. Sincerely wish I could be optimistic but even the targets were too high,things are really so desperate that the increase allowed should have been much lower.
    Even the target set stands no chance of being achieved unless a V W emission technician put in charge of policing.
    If policing of Raptor killing,lead shot misuse cannot be stopped how the h*** can they stop pollution all over the world.
    To think they can while flying hundreds of delegates from all over the world to have a party in Paris is laughable.
    Merry Christmas everyone at least it is the season of goodwill,suddenly remembered when our Supermarket the much maligned Tesco gave me my Xmas present,I now have much more faith in them than our useless MP who having received 90% of texts saying his constituents wanted him to vote against air strikes in Syria decided to say sod you you tossers I will vote for air strikes.Democracy does not describe that.
    Tis the season of goodwill so decided next time to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

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