Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Papua New Guinea must prepare for Mexico climate change meet



So much for all the media hype about the big deal we have to have to save our planet.  The recent UN climate summit in Copenhagen failed to meet the world’s expectations.  All the hard work by 192 countries to reach some sort of agreement in Denmark came to nothing.  It’s back to the drawing board. 


Papua New Guinea wasted a lot of time and money going to Copenhagen when nobody got to hear what we have to say.  Now we wait for the same meeting next year in Mexico. Before Mexico, the media hype will start all over again by scientists and certain rich nations world leaders grandstanding to everyone about the ‘new big deal of all deals’ this time to again save our world.  But isn’t that what they said last time?  Do we believe them again this time?  Well maybe; maybe not.

Next year, PNG leaders (yes, the same politicians) will again talk up a storm to convince its still illiterate 6 million people about how great our new REDD paper will be for the Mexico meet.  In Mexico, we are going to tell the big polluters what we didn’t tell them in Denmark.  But why didn’t we do it last time when we are supposed to have spent some K8 million, and for what?  Are we going to spend another K8 million or is in dollars or pesos this time?  But what’s in it for us (PNG)? Nothing, nada, zilch, ‘gauta lasi’.

Copenhagen failed us all.  There wasn’t any so-called Treaty, Agreement or Accord.  The next big thing may be the ‘Mexico Memorandum’.  We hope Climate Change Mexico will come up with something more legally binding this time to commit the rich nations.  These are the big climate polluters like the US, China and other industrialized countries who must all agree to cut their carbon emission levels, and accepted by all conference participants.

PNG must seriously analyze what Copenhagen’s failure really means and be better prepared for Mexico.  In Copenhagen, everyone failed to agree what definite future action to take to save our world.  The conference agreed to all procrastinate until next year.  In Mexico, we will see more repeat performances in platitudes and pontification by rich nations, and acquiescence by poor nations.  They seem to have little choice but heel to the arrogance of polluting countries. 

This failed conference should tell PNG a lot about the world political order today.  The global human race club has two types of membership.  They form within two sub-clubs: the rich and poor men’s clubs.  But in reality the fate of the world is exclusively in the hands of the rich man’s club (G20 group).  They think they should always call the shots because they have the financial resources, high technology, well organized government and affluent society, etc.  A member of the poor man’s club like PNG and other small poor nations, unfortunately have no real say at all (or do we?).  Maybe one day. 

Copenhagen did not have any true champions to push its set agenda.  Even the US proved a major disappointment to everyone.  President Obama gave a very ordinary address that did not excite anyone at all.  Obama even got accused of not taking the expected leadership role to get big recalcitrant polluters like China to come to the fold.  Some say his Copenhagen address has made him no different to his predecessor. 

However, if there was ever any deal of some kind, then one can say it was between the US and China, India, South Africa, and Brazil which established a kind of a negotiating bloc.  The four developing nations asked for and got the following: no compulsory limits on carbon emissions, no emissions reduction unless Western nations pay for them, no international monitoring of emission reductions if not paid for by the West and lastly, not to use global warming as an excuse to impose protectionist policy of trade restrictions on those who do not reduce carbon emissions.

What can PNG learn from this?  First of all, be better prepared for Mexico.  Second, cut travelling delegates down to six with no unnecessary brief-case carriers.  Third, we start now by drafting a good bipartisan paper to present next year.  Fourth, canvas all stake-holder’s viewpoints.  Get community feedback from everyone (villager, rural, urban, the whole country) that may be affected in future by climate change.  Last but not the least, we can right then plan out exactly what we can actually do now within our own means and resources.  This is important before we even think about asking rich nations for a ‘hand-out’. 

PNG must have its own national “Climate Change Action Plan’ now.  Many things can be done by ourselves without waiting to go overseas and attend expensive ‘talk-fests’ at the behest of the rich men’s club.  We only show that we are really helpless without the West propping us up every time.


  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    The only International mechansim is the VCS for carbon trading.
    No buyer of VCU Emmission Reduction Units will buy or invest in a PNG product.
    Please understand the business before you write misleading comments.

  2. Tina Bona12:22 PM


    Your comments mean absolutely nothing to readers because of your faceless label. Why don't you write about VCS instead of making silly frivolous remarks. It does not help anyone here.

    Tell us your name so readers can take you seriously.

  3. Peter Kondi1:22 PM

    This Mr. Annonymous seem to have nothing original to say except make remarks that do not have any relations to earlier comments made by someone else. I see nothing misleading about what Reg says here.

  4. Jaidi Poro1:41 PM

    Good stuff Reg, keep em comming.

    PNG must be ready for Mexico next year. This time, I hope we have just the PNG nationals on our team and not foreigners who just undermine our delegation's agenda like they did in Copenhagen, Denmark.