(Or: The five best news items from the UN Climate Conference in Bonn.)
On Saturday, I gave a brief video commentary on „Spiegel TV“ at the finish of the UN Climate Change Conference in the early morning hours. I wanted to highlight a perspective which is often neglected: The benefits of the conference apart from „climate protection“. Here is the comment in English on request.
1) The community: The whole world talks to each other. The United Nations Climate Conference is the big stage on which everyone meets. Here, dictatorships have to talk to democracies, the poor talk to the rich, the corrupt to the social. Everyone talks to everyone and every country has only one vote. Liechtenstein has one vote, China has one vote. The exchange makes the world better, automatically.
2) The power of the UN: The UN cruise ship is unstoppable, the UN cruise ship is so sluggish and so powerful that it goes over everything very slowly. And these climate conferences are so grave and so unstoppable that they will go on and on, connecting the world more and more. You can tell from the fact that even the exit of the US has no consequences here: Everything goes on, the USA itself still tries to cooperate and to be constructive. One suspects that they will come back at some point, because the process will go on and on, and here the world talks to each other, actually no one wants to miss out.
3) The jobs: Concern for climate change not only brings the world together, it creates cooperation. The rich help the poor. Everyone could benefit from this interaction: The poor could strengthen their economy and the rich their influence.
4) The incentives: The climate conferences provide innovation, they urge the states to develop renewable energy. Whether this can succeed to a sufficient extent remains open, but the first steps have been taken. And the climate conferences accelerate this process because they create incentives.
5) The languge: Also the language of the climate conferences is good news. The climate agreement is written in a very brittle language. An example:
„Developed country Parties shall, and other Parties that provide support should, provide information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support provided to developing country Parties under Articles 9, 10 and 11.“
This language is sober that the whole world can agree on it and it is so precise that it is fair to everyone.
There was a long struggle for every word, not only here in Bonn, but also at all 22 UN climate conferences before and on hundreds of interim meetings. That’s why those are precious words. It is UN poetry.
In Bonn, in the last two weeks, the delegates from all countries have successfully continued in writing the book, the climate treaty. The book that unites humanity.
The author: Axel Bojanowski is science editor for Spiegel Online.