Conference of Parties #26
A blog linking infinite discussion and lines. Iterations of recurring themes that can get bigger or smaller, but will they always look the same?
Netflix managed to have 55 minutes of my time tonight. Rare indeed these days. “The colours of infinity,” a 1995 film hosted by Arthur C Clarke. Explaining the discovery of a particular fractal geometry that surrounds us. Needing the computations of machines to help us observe what we have always blindly seen.
26 years of the same
It is a fantastic documentary from last century. Reflecting upon what is perhaps ever nearing us in this century, or the next. The mathematics that shows us how in nature there need be no straight lines. Not even necessarily any beginnings or ends. But that at whatever level we look, the patterns and basic formulas that can go to infinities all the same.
Filmed 26 years ago. By coincidence COP26, Conference of the Parties #26, is the same age. Perhaps also a coincidence that fractal symmetry seems the agenda mainstay of this event. The Kyoto Protocol was COP3, December 1997 but not ratified until 2005. Is it to be the “Glasgow Protocol” that our grandchildren’s children look upon with global pride – will this be the start of the change? I have dug out the two agendas and placed them side by side below. Fractal symmetry perhaps, but I am just not sure if we travel to infinitely bigger or infinitely smaller upon this path.
Projects | within Projects
Projects | Within Projects sits here as little more than an idea. But what it does reflect is one person’s attempt to redefine problems we all share. On scales that we can all compare. We are in the same project. We are each a project. And each moment another aggregation of projects our planet actor must wear.
To my mind and my perspective on management, this is just a question of scale. There is fractal symmetry in nature. We follow it everywhere. From the truncations of the tiniest capillaries in our brains and the neural networks that make us think we have a say. To the near infinite networks of galaxies beyond the milky-way. There is a pattern within the chaos, or a chaos within the pattern. Either way, we sit as a pin point in our abstract notions of time and space. One species on one world. Perhaps uniquely, perhaps too discretely, we are different. Different because we have some semblance of intent in what we change. In our momentary time frame, we get to direct, to learn, to grow. Choose to play. Choose to give our chance away. In the heat of this day we now choose to help, or we choose to fade away.
v | b | t
A project of change of behaviour. That is what our leaders speak of next week. Compared to the talk a generation before – what has changed in this rhetoric of change? But perhaps that is not just their question to answer. Perhaps it is not their visibility, and behaviour, or trust we need to ponder.
I am cynical. I am a hypocrite. But I am silent no more. The merry-go-round is easy to step off of when all privilege has fallen ones way. I am not gluing myself to a road. Or finding politics, or charitable ends to compensate for my guilt. My squandered inheritance is time. I am not alone. So the time I have left is aimed at asking better questions. Finding the better questions others in our history have asked. And hoping I get lucky in leaving a few better questions for others to help direct their future-generational task.
If we, the human project, are truly made to intend change. Perhaps it is this visibility we awaken. This goal to the future versions of ourselves we turn our behaviour toward. And from this, our present day, we present ourselves better. Turn ourselves to the service of this future. Rebuild this trust owed as future ancestors. Otherwise – what is this all really for?
Here is the CoP26 2021 agenda, alongside that of 1997. Regardless of its outcomes, maybe it is the personal agendas of us all, that are better answers to nature’s call.
COP3 Kyoto 1997
- The Climate Change Convention seeks to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [human-induced] interference with the climate system”. There are three requirements: (1) this “ultimate objective” should be achieved early enough to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change; (2) food production should not be threatened; and (3) efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and climate change should be consistent with sustainable economic development.
- There is no agreed definition of what is meant by “dangerous”. Individuals and cultures differ in their understanding of what is safe and what is dangerous. In addition, some people and countries are more vulnerable to the expected consequences of climate change than are others. While science can provide a useful basis for decision-making, determining how much climate change is “safe” or how much risk is “acceptable” is essentially a political judgment. The judgment of the international community is expressed through the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.
- The faster the climate changes, the greater the danger is likely to be. While human beings are extremely flexible and can cope with many different climates and conditions, human institutions and natural ecosystems tend to adapt more slowly. This is why the Convention specifically highlights the need to protect food production and ecosystems.
- Certain ecological thresholds may be important indicators of the risks of rapid climate change. Such thresholds could be used to set policies for limiting the risk of irreversible damage. For example, paleoclimatic records of forest growth suggest that trees have migrated in the past by as much as four to 200 km in 100 years. But with scientists predicting that a global warming of 1–3.5oC over the next 100 years would shift climate zones poleward by 150–550 km, many tree populations may fail to adapt fast enough. Thus even if policymakers cannot agree on what constitutes a dangerous climate change for people, they may be able to identify dangerous thresholds for ecosystems that are vital to human well-being.
- Food production may suffer in some regions. Changes in crop yields are expected to vary greatly by region and locality. Therefore, while global agricultural production may be maintained at or near the present level, the food security of some countries may worsen as a result of climate change. To the people affected this may well seem to be “dangerous”.
- The overall implications of climate change for sustainable development are not well understood. While the net effect is expected to be negative, global warming is likely to have both positive and negative impacts on human societies, national economies, and natural ecosystems. A warmer climate could extend growing seasons in one region while increasing the risk of droughts in another. Similarly, new energy taxes and other policy responses may hurt some countries while energy-efficiency innovations may help others by reducing production costs and opening up new markets.
- The Convention sets out a number of principles that should guide action to achieve the objective. They include equity between countries; concern for both present and future generations; the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries; and the importance of cost-effectiveness, sustainable development, and a supportive and open international economic system. In addition, the precautionary principle states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing action.
- The Convention requires policymakers to decide on concrete actions. The Parties to the Convention must come to some consensus on the changes that could be considered dangerous. They must choose the level at which they want to stabilize atmospheric concentrations, a schedule for limiting greenhouse gas emissions over time, and appropriate technologies and policies for meeting this schedule.
- Fortunately, a wealth of knowledge and information is available to decision-makers. The scientific, technical, and socio-economic literature describes possible future scenarios and the likely consequences of various stabilization levels and emissions trends. It explores Ano regrets and other cost-effective measures for cutting emissions and enhancing “sinks”. The literature also describes options for adapting to climate change impacts and indicates promising avenues of scientific and technological research. By choosing amongst these policies and measures, and by carefully weighing costs and benefits, uncertainties and risks, and the various principles that should guide action, the international community can move towards achieving the Convention’s objective.
COP26 Glasgow 2021
The supplementary provisional agenda for COP 26, proposed after consultation with
the President of COP 25, is as follows:
- Opening of the session.
- Organizational matters:
(a) Election of the President of the Conference of the Parties at its twenty-sixth session;
(b) Adoption of the rules of procedure;
(c) Adoption of the agenda;
(d) Election of officers other than the President;
(e) Admission of organizations as observers; (f) Organization of work, including for the sessions of the subsidiary bodies; (g) Dates and venues of future sessions; (h) Adoption of the report on credentials.
- Reports of the subsidiary bodies:
(a) Report of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice;
(b) Report of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation.
- Reporting from and review of Parties included in Annex I to the Convention.
- Reporting from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention.
- Report of the Adaptation Committee (for 2019, 2020 and 2021).
- Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with
Climate Change Impacts.2
- Matters relating to finance:
(a) Long-term climate finance;
(b) Matters relating to the Standing Committee on Finance:
(i) Report of the Standing Committee on Finance – Convention
(ii) First report on the determination of the needs of developing
country Parties related to implementing the Convention and the
(iii) Fourth (2020) Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate
(iv) Review of the functions of the Standing Committee on Finance;
(c) Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and
guidance to the Green Climate Fund (for 2020 and 2021);
(d) Report of the Global Environment Facility to the Conference of the
Parties and guidance to the Global Environment Facility (for 2020 and
(e) Seventh review of the Financial Mechanism;
(f) Compilation and synthesis of, and summary report on the in-session
workshop on, biennial communications of information related to
Article 9, paragraph 5, of the Paris Agreement.
- Development and transfer of technologies:
(a) Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee and the
Climate Technology Centre and Network (for 2020 and 2021);
(b) Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial
Mechanism of the Convention;
(c) Review of the constitution of the Advisory Board of the Climate
Technology Centre and Network;
(d) Second review of the Climate Technology Centre and Network.
- Capacity-building under the Convention.
- Matters relating to the least developed countries.
- Report of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures.
- Gender and climate change.
- Consideration of proposals by Parties for amendments to the Convention under
(a) Proposal from the Russian Federation to amend Article 4, paragraph
2(f), of the Convention;
(b) Proposal from Papua New Guinea and Mexico to amend Articles 7 and
18 of the Convention;
(c) Proposal from Turkey to delete the name of Turkey from the list in
Annex I to the Convention.
- Second review of the adequacy of Article 4, paragraph 2(a–b), of the
- Equitable, fair, ambitious and urgent real emission reductions now consistent
with a trajectory to reduce the temperature below 1.5 °C.
- All matters of adaptation.
- Achieving equitable geographic representation in the composition of
constituted bodies under the Convention.
- Administrative, financial and institutional matters:
(a) Audit report and financial statements for 2019 and 2020;
(b) Budget performance for the bienniums 2018–2019 and 2020–2021;
(c) Programme budget for the biennium 2022–2023;
(d) Decision-making in the UNFCCC process.
- High-level segment:
(a) Statements by Parties;
(b) Statements by observer organizations.
- Other matters.
- Conclusion of the session:
(a) Adoption of the draft report of the Conference of the Parties on its
(b) Closure of the session.
In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.