“… this progress is not enough… we have come a long way, but we have much further to go.”
—President Barack Obama

In December 2009, the United Nation reunited in Copenhagen for the climate change convention; and all main leaders were present. The intention of this meeting was to find an agreement on a common policy before 2012, year in which the Kyoto Protocol runs out. Over 177 countries were present at the meeting, with their main representatives and several NGOs. In total, there were more than 8000 members at the climate meeting. Some leaders were criticized for being short in details and long in rhetoric, other leaders were praised for presenting concrete solutions and feasible goals.

The outcome was that all members chose to support their own ideas and positions creating a big chaos. After all the discussions, the final decision was taken by President Obama and President Jiabao, from the US and China, who just acknowledged the seriousness of the climate conditions, but did not agree on any binding commitment. They signed the “Copenhagen Accord” which recognized that the climate change is one of the greatest challenge of our days, and that some action should be taken to keep the temperature increase below 2°C.

Which role should the different leaders have? Which role should the US have? Which role should the other big countries have? And the most important, which role should the United Nations have?

All these questions bring us to examine what the effectiveness of these meetings is!

The presence of different interests and cultures brought “International meetings” to have problems with adequacy and mutual agreements. How could we improve the of efficiency these meetings? Are meetings like the G20 more productive? Do they need more guidelines? Should they have higher power in binding commitments?

“… the city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport…”
—John Sauven, CEO of “Green Peace UK”, referring to the unfortunate outcome of the summit.

—Christian N.

Previous Is there a new generation of mechanical engineers coming? Next Ford Motor Company & Sustainability