Panel Discussions - Monday, June 21, 2010
Progress on Climate Talks: “A Marathon, Not a Sprint”
Acknowledging the disappointment that many people felt after United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen in December, but urging people not to let temporary setbacks undermine faith in long range success, Harvard University Professor Robert Stavins described the development of climate policy as “a marathon and not a sprint.’” For his part, Columbia University Professor Scott Barrett called current methods of addressing the climate problem “a massive failure.”
This frank discussion, which took place on June 21 during an IPI policy forum, reinforced the complexities and challenges facing climate negotiators as they prepare for the next climate summit in Cancún, Mexico at the end of the year.
Professor Barrett and fellow panelist Mohammed Reza Salamat, Senior Program Officer in the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, agreed that an essential component to the negotiations is to win the support of the general public, especially in the United States.
Referring to a participant’s comment on this subject, Mr. Salamat said, “In my view, we need to promote some value-based messages so that we can encourage American people and other nations to care for their children, for the planet, and for the next generation, articulating the fact that we are all living, as you rightly said, in one planet, and we are—we will sink together if we are going to sink.”
Though Professor Barrett discussed some avenues for progress, most of his remarks were a stark assessment of the process so far. “If you want to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at any level… you basically have to bring, relatively quickly, net emissions worldwide towards zero,” he said. “So the ambition, I think, we’re asking for in climate policy is huge, and where we’ve gotten to so far is nowhere near it.”
Said Mr. Salamat, “Those who have been involved in climate negotiations for a long time say every global issue is easy, except climate change.”
The event, titled, “International Climate Negotiations: Options for a Way Forward,” was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.
The Global Observatory
Nelson Mandela: Man and Awesome Phenomenon
A former member of the South African Parliament reflects on Mandela's warmth and generosity.
Ordinary Fears, Extraordinary Man: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
As a young South African diplomat during the apartheid-to-democracy transition, Cedric de Coning witnessed the humility and power of a flawed statesman.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?