The 15-minute Copenhagen trip
This is a climate change survey that is worth your time and effort. It has been put together by the Center for Global Development (they’re also the people behind the excellent Carma global power stations CO2 database).
It is what the negotiators at the Copenhagen climate negotiations will have to deal with between 7 and 18 December. There will be many of them and it will take several days and cost quite a lot. This will take you 15 minutes and cost next to nothing. My wager is that the results will show that CGDev’s survey will prove that distributed decision making is more effective that international conferencing.
What’s nice about the survey is there’s enough space to express oneself about the choices made in the multiple choice questions. Here are some of my responses:
On funding models –
We need to recognise that the funding flow has followed a ‘market’ model. This is not the optimum solution for finding ways to encourage cities, towns and industrial settlements to manage their impacts. We also need to recognise that sub-national administrations can be politically motivated and outright corrupt, so monetary and tech support can be misallocated under these conditions. Finally, fees, auctions, permits, quotas etc will all find their way into a grey trading system which we will collectively have to guard against.
Reporting rules must apply fairly and equally to all countries. And must be at least annual, because administrative and corporate budgets are annual.
On spending priorities-
We know already how large the most vulnerable populations are and how inadequate their coping ability to the climate change events of the last two years. That alone gives us the best set of indicators about how to proceed.
On choosing a fund amount-
This is difficult to answer without evidence of how independent this funding can be (ie independent of trade for example or reciprocal tech transfer), Just as important, we don’t know enough about how to deal with the overlap, which is now large, of conventional development aid and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
On administering a financial process-
I favour a UN-managed system. (1) This will help standardise the administration of fund flows (2) It will support UN leadership in place of fractured regional system.
On a funding management model-
The problem is being framed in terms of per capita, of efficiency per unit of GDP, and that is why current UN, Adaptation Funds and CI Funds methods will not work. A combination of share + need voting would do best.
On funds being linked to trade-
It really is quite plain. Climate change methods cannot be linked in any way to trade access and markets. It is plain folly to do so. Trade and business are not the aims here. Planet-wide systems are being dangerously altered.