Tuck team prepares for COP16 as many are pushing for action

     With last minute preparations underway, we have a deeper engagement with our second attendance at these important UN-sponsored talks. This year, Tuck is presenting a panel titled “Institutions and Governance Mechanisms for Climate Finance” (in partnership with the NYU Law School), with a view to explore new approaches required to get the private sector to get engaged.   [Wednesday 12/1, 15:00-16:30 pm in Cancun Messe, Jaguar Room]

            Professor Anant Sundaram will moderate the panel, and share insights on incentives that could encourage verifiable, compliant corporate action on climate change. Panelists from NYU, the Carbon Disclosure Project, and the World Resources Institute will discuss the institutional structures that are needed, the challenges of current measurement, monitoring and verifying systems, and the potential for change in public institutions.  With the high level of Tuck student interest in climate finance, climate justice, clean energy, and cross-national perspectives, we’ll have many sessions from which to choose.

            The latest updates from the UNFCCC and the press on expected outcomes from COP16 indicate deep skepticism. For instance, AP reports: “Even the Mexican hosts of the November 29 – December 10 U.N. conference question whether “it is the best way to work — with 194 countries,” as Mexico’s environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, put it.” (Interestingly, this is a point that Professor Sundaram had blogged about at the end of last year’s less-than-successful COP15 in Copenhagen ).

             Despite this skepticism, pressure for action is mounting. A related event with world business leaders is taking place in Mexico as an addition to COP16.  Mayors from 135 cities from around the world signed a voluntary pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent AFP article.  We learned that 259 investors from around the world (from both developed and developing countries) with collective assets under management totaling over $15 trillion – more than one-quarter of global stock market capitalization – are calling for government action on climate change.

            Thus, despite the skepticism, there is a great deal of call to action from various constituencies as we head to Mexico. We’ll keep posting on what we hear and see.

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About Pat Palmiotto
Pat Palmiotto is Executive Director of Center for Business & Society at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. The Center works to increase understanding and dialogue about issues at the intersection of business and society. Started in 2001, the Center is an integral component of the Tuck School enriching the MBA program, sharing knowledge with others, and supporting faculty research. Prior to Tuck, she worked in the fields of management consulting and education.

One Response to Tuck team prepares for COP16 as many are pushing for action

  1. Karsten Barde says:

    The New York Times’ Green blog seems to be a good source for analysis. What else are people following?

    Two excerpts:
    Degrees of Separation from Climate Goals

    Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said that if all the pledges are met, the Copenhagen meeting will come to be seen as more of a success than a failure. Most people consider the Copenhagen meeting a bitter disappointment because it ended in acrimony and fell far short of its intended goal of producing an enforceable international climate treaty.

    But Mr. Steiner said that perceptions could change if industrialized countries follow through on their voluntary promises to cut emissions and help developing countries do the same.

    “There is a gap between the science and current ambition levels,” he said in a statement accompanying the report. “But what this report shows is that the options on the table right now in the negotiations can get us almost 60 percent of the way there. This is a good first step.”

    The Last UN Climate Extravaganza?

    After complaining that countries were backsliding on the modest pledges they made last year in Copenhagen, [Jonathan Pershing, the American deputy climate envoy] said there was the possibility that Cancún would produce next to nothing and irreparably damage the United Nations climate change negotiating process.

    His remarks echoed those of a number of other top negotiators, particularly those from the European Union, who grumbled that maybe it was time to find a new way forward.

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