As if there weren’t already enough climate summits, the New York Times reports that the UN hosted yet another one, this time called the “Summit on Climate Ambition” which was distinguished by only inviting irrelevant countries to speak: “At a Summit on Climate Ambition, the U.S. and China End Up on the B List/ The world’s two biggest polluters were not invited to speak at a United Nations meeting designed to highlight effective action against warming.” That’s showing them. Nothing says effective climate action like leaving out the people doing most of the emitting. Mind you having them attend, say, COP28 in Dubai this November and December won’t accomplish anything either.
The organizers, and many journalists, seemed to think people would care about whether they got invited to this utterly forgettable, instantly forgotten whatever-it-was. As in:
“The United Nations’ secretary general, António Guterres, convened a special summit on Wednesday in New York City designed to highlight the efforts of the most ambitious global leaders on climate policy – and to implicitly shame those who are dragging their feet.”
Oooh, nothing worse than being implicitly shamed. Especially when not going to a summit you weren’t invited to might just possibly save your career with domestic voters. And as always “Despite its emphasis on ambition, the summit yielded few new concrete pledges” though Canada sent some empty words.
The spectacle thrilled the dwindling crowd. Reuters “Sustainable Switch” was excited that “Thirty-four countries recognized for taking strong action on climate change were due to speak, including Canada, the European Union, Pakistan, South Africa and the island nation of Tuvalu” which given that it was a one-day conference didn’t leave much time for any of them to say anything even if they’d wanted to. And certainly nobody knows or cares what Pakistan did say. Probably their own delegate can’t even remember.
Still, Euronews.green crowed that:
“Crediting ‘fighters and trailblazers’, the UN climate summit is giving the floor to the world’s most ambitious governments. A ‘no nonsense’ UN summit aimed at galvanising climate action is taking place in New York today (20 September). The Climate Ambition Summit has an exclusive guest list: only national governments deemed to be ‘first movers and first doers’ will be allowed to speak at the event, which is happening during the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Many big players aren’t being given time on the podium - like the US, China, India and the UK, whose Prime Minister has been widely criticised today over leaked plans to water down key green targets en route to net zero.”
No nonsense? How about no results? Still, who cares when you can virtue-signal?
According to the Times writer:
“the most compelling calls to action were given by leaders like President Gabriel Boric of Chile, a firebrand young socialist who said the self-congratulation in the room made him feel like delegates were all just trying to help themselves sleep better at night.”
Got it in one, Mr. President. Except in truth the general level of originality and compelling analysis in speeches at these conferences could just as easily help them all sleep during the day. Crisis greed urgent action poor countries justice zzzzzzzz. Huh? Is it lunchtime yet?
P.S. The Secretary-General’s closing remarks to this futile gathering ended with “Take no prisoners.” Sure, just execute your opposition. Why are we a member of this thing?