As it’s Friday and it’s snowing in London, I am going off piste a bit and looking at climate summit in Copenhagen (or Cop15 as they say in the industry). It is happening right now and can you honestly say you have any idea what they are really discussing? I sure didn’t so thought I’d look into it for you.
The goal of the summit is to agree on a global climate change deal to follow the Kyoto Protocol that expire in 2012, countries have to throw their hats in the ring to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%. This is obviously what all the fuss is about, nobody wants to reduce more than the others as it could hurt their national competitiveness. Think the US vs. China vs. cash struck minnow countries vs. conscious Europeans vs. everyone else.
All the big shots are there, officials from 192 countries are represented and so far the conference has achieved little more than photo opportunities. Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger has 10 bodyguards (from the California Highway Patrol no less) and the General Secretary of the UN has 2. It seems like every man, woman and dog has given a speech, I suspect the main aim of these speeches is to look statesmanlike to the television audience that is their respective home electorates.
And el Presidente?
President Obama is jetting in today to seal some sort of deal that Hilary Clinton has been busy brokering. The president has to achieve a deal as he got the Nobel Peace Prize on credit and he has to pay up with some sort of benefit to the world.
Apparently Obama is also being accused of ceding the United States’ sovereignty by Fox News for wanting to sign up to carbon emission caps. Wouldn’t it be great if Denmark ruled the world, just like they ruled the North Seas back in the Viking days? Bacon would be the global staple food, unless you don’t eat meat like me and you’ll have to settle for Danish butter cookies.
Where are my snippets?
Now, to make use of all this in your career you can throw some of these facts at your boss and he or she will have no choice but to send you as an all-expenses-paid-for observer to the next summit:
- COP15 doesn’t actually stand for Copenhagen on the 15th of December, it refers to Conference of the Parties and it’s the 15th meeting they have held.
- The drinking age in Copenhagen is 16 and there are no laws on to public drinking. As long as you can stand up, you can have another one. If not, crash out anywhere on the street and recover before the next one.
- Since 1990, Great Britain has seen 9 of the 10 warmest years on record, although it’s snowing at the moment.
- According to a 2006 UN report, livestock (cows) are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. This is more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
- In 2003, the government of New Zealand proposed a cow flatulence tax, which was not adopted because of public protest.
What will happen next?
Let’s hope we get a deal going so that we save the planet and perhaps more importantly that the media can move on to something else for a while. Let’s hope that the Tuborg (Carlsberg’s little sister) can flow freely this weekend in what is now hilariously known as Hopenhagen.