COP18: Youth must be patient, ‘take the long view’

COP18 (30/11/12) – Bob Dixon, Chief Negotiator for the Global Environment Facility, reflects on the last twenty years of the UNFCCC process.

Dixon begins by reflecting on the honour it was for him to be involved in the planning and execution of the original Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which created the UNFCCC.

Dixon asserts that since 1992 we have developed a much better understanding of climate science as well as the technologies and policies we can use to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He acknowledges that the view of climate change taken by politicians does vary but he argues that decision-makers still sitting at the negotiating table is in itself a success.

Dixon attempts to reassure those who argue that the UNFCCC is making slow progress by reminding us that climate change is a complex problem in terms of its science, economics and politics. He encourages young people to ‘take the long view’, arguing that the policy needs to be right first time, which may involve patience.

Dixon continues by outlining the work of the Global Environment Facility, which he describes as ‘the money’ of the convention.