A September Packed with Climate Conferences

The last week of September (24th — 28th) is jam-packed with international climate-related conferences and meetings, “unfolding against a background of deepening scientific concern but entrenched political obstacles.

Already, some international discussion has begun on post-Kyoto emissions targets. The Christian Science Monitor has a media summary explaining where several major nations stand after a preliminary meeting last week in Vienna.

A second meeting will take place the final week of September. (Both meetings are precursors to formal negotiations beginning in December in Bali, Indonesia.) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is gathering 30 nations in New York to discuss global warming prior to the General Assembly’s session on it.

A few days later, President Bush has invited the top 15 emitters to D.C. for conversations on voluntary reductions and technology development — the old game of delay, delay, delay.


Not much resolution will come from either meeting, but we can certainly expect some truly political maneuvers to begin. In fact, they already have. According to an internal European gov’t memo, Bush’s meeting “is in spirit an attempt to block” the other more serious international negotiations.

And don’t forget that this fall Congress is holding conferences on the energy bills passed by the House and the Senate and beginning to examine global warming legislation (mostly in the form of cap and trade proposals).

Expect to watch competitive international and domestic games on climate and energy during the week, broken up by football on the weekends. When do you suppose they will introduce padding and helmets into politics?