Well, the conference of the decade has finally arrived after months of anticipation. Let's hope that the gathered representatives from 192 countries actually roll up their sleeves and get down to some serious talking. The cynic in me wonders just how many of the representatives and their hangers-on are really needed and did they think about the environmental impact of travelling to the conference.
One item from the coverage that caught my eye was the climate activist from the Maldives, Mohamad Shinez, who submerged himself in a tank of water outside the conference centre, in an act to recreate flooding in the Maldives. He held a sign saying 'Act Now, Save Lives'. This reminded me of two images that we have in the Ecoscene collection taken in the Maldives. The photographer, Paul Thompson, took both photos, standing on the same beach five years apart. Its not difficult to see the effect of rising sea levels in such a short period of time. No wonder the Maldivian people are very worried.
The Conference will be considering four main issues:
1. The commitment to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by the developed nations, especially the United States.
2. The commitment of developing nations, such as China and India, to reduce the rate at which they increase their greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Funding by developed nations to provide clean energy technology to developing nations.
4. Monitoring and enforcing of the agreement.
I will be watching with interest.