25 March 2012

After COP17: Where now for civil society engagement in UNFCCC climate negotiations?

I recently contributed to a report, commissioned by Earthlife Africa Johannesburg , to reflect on civil society’s impact on the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban, and to spark an internal reassessment of global civil society’s actions towards the UNFCC; for whatever we are doing, it is not working.

If there is a single message about the engagement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that comes out of this report, it is that civil society should stop looking at the COP process as a “quick fix” for climate change. Instead, civil society needs return to the hard, expensive and time-consuming work of grassroots mobilisation to create real and substantial mass movements that have the sheer weight of numbers to force change. National governments need to go to a COP knowing that their populaces want a global deal on climate change and will not take kindly to them returning from a COP with only empty promises and a hollow text.

The full report can be downloaded from here.

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