COP18: Have the UN climate talks gotten too big?



Marcel Hanegraaff , Universiteit Antwerpen

From Qatar: COP18 UN Climate Change Conference 2012 in November 2012

COP18 (27/11/12) – Marcel Hanegraaff, PhD Researcher at the Universiteit Antwerpen, talks about the organisation participation at the climate talks. He says that while there is a lot of organisation and NGO activity at the conference, whether this translates into these groups actually having an impact is less certain.

Of 8000 organisations that attended the talks between 1995 and 2011, around 60% of them only participated for one year, and it is the bigger names, the groups with more money and resources who are able to keep coming.

He says many of these organisations feel the talks have become a circus and their ability to really participate is limited.

He also questioned whether the talks have gotten too big. While he thinks there should be a venue where groups can all meet and discuss ideas he questions whether this should be linked to the official negotiations.

He warns this participation could provide a legitimacy to the talks – that they are open and inclusive – when really on the ground, the vast majority of organisations and NGOs have very little input in the actual negotiations.