I was at a meeting organised by the Greens in the European Parliament on Climate and Energy Policy. I (but of course) raised the issue of Locally Determined Contributions as a way of boosting our chances of acheiving the the COP21 Paris Climate Goals. The reception to the issue seemed warm enough, and no particular negativity towards the idea. I have already followed up by providing more information for MEPs in the Green Group and I'll do more follow up later.
So why was it hard?
I've been 'on the road' with this for much of the last month and pushing Locally Determined Contributions as concept for nearly a year now. I like travel but the going back and forth to Brussels, and other places, has been pretty much weekly. I have also got a bit weary talking about the subject. I know it is very worthwhile. I know it is the right thing to do. I know the world will be a much better place with it. It is the lack of tangibility of the subject matter that can be tricky for some people. If you're saving a whale, or a tree, or erecting a wind turbine, or insulating 1000s of houses, or planting 1000s of trees then it feels very practical, real and doable. Introducing a new way of addressing climate change using the sleeping giant powers of Local and Regional Governments around the world doesn't float everybody's Rainbow Warrior. But it has to be done!
The 'Cooper Law of Monomanias' is that they are completely fine while you're making some progress and so it is with LDCs (I much prefer the initials, 'btw', than saying the whole thing out loud). I've seen people with monomanias spend a lifetime on them and maybe there is a value in that for the concepts and for the people that promote them. Personally I need to map a subject from idea to implementation with some sort of idea of timescales. Those timescales are now beginning to become more apparent to me.
There is the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) Plenary meeting in October which hopefully will adopt my Opinion on the EU Environmental Implementation Review. This includes the concept of LDCs and also Mr Marco Dus's Opinion on Climate Finance does as well. There is only one amendment opposing LDC's and it is from the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). ECR want to delete all reference to LDCs on the basis that this is duplication of local action already recorded at a national level. ECR contains UK Conservative Councillors and one look at their own Councils would tell them this is simply not the case. Knowing the political make up of the CoR the ECR are unlikely to get this amendment passed. Fortunately for me!
In November is COP23 the UNFCC Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. I will be there for the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders where I will do my best to get get LDCs adopted there. If it does then comes the real work of how LDCs are implemented in practice which is the really exciting stuff. I would envisage some early adopters in each continent and a big initial focus on the EU and the United States. Getting US Mayors on board with LDCs is vital if we are going to 'trump' Trump in his bizarre illogical opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement. Getting even the smallest Councils and municipalties on board with LDCs in the US, or anywhere really, is going to bring the realities and benefits of addressing Climate Change closer to people and that's got to be good.
Well back to Brexit bound Britain now. I'll run another 5k tomorrow. That'll help. Here's Transeurope Express by Kraftwerk.