Jason Funk Talks about UN Climate Change Conference

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Oak Park resident, Jason Funk, attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in November. Jason, the Associate Director of Land Use at the Center for Carbon Removal, answered a few questions about his experience:

Q:  How did you participate at the Bonn Climate Change Conference?

A:  I participated as an observer organization, along with hundreds of other NGOs from around the world. Observers aim to influence the negotiations by engaging with Party delegates, talking to the media, and working together to amplify our voices about environmental integrity, human rights, and other issues.

Q:  What were some of the accomplishments and main takeaways from the Bonn conference? 

A:  One of the main takeaways was simply the fact that countries worked hard to stay on track to meet the Paris goals, despite the announced withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. In fact, the bluster from the U.S. administration seemed to galvanize the rest of the world, and they worked diligently, making good progress toward the implementation of the Agreement in 2020.

Q:  What are the next steps after the conference for you and your organization? For the international community?

A:  My organization will review the various decisions that came out of the COP, as they relate to carbon sequestration activities, starting with agriculture and forestry. We will also work with other civil society groups to submit our views on what should happen in 2018, and we will reach out to the Party negotiators we work most closely with. The international community needs to keep up pressure and make significant progress in order to stay on track for the 2020 implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Q:  What was the most interesting part of attending the conference?
A:  For me, the most interesting part was a breakthrough that happened on the issue of agriculture. I’ve been following this issue since 2011, and it has stalled out many times. Bonn was the first time the Parties agreed to create a long-term plan of work to tackle issues that cut across agricultural emissions, resilience, and food security, as they relate to climate change. That was a big step forward.

3 Comments

Kristin McCormack 14-12-2017, 09:50

” My organization will review the various decisions that came out of the COP, as they relate to carbon sequestration activities, starting with agriculture and forestry. ”

I am wondering what your views on agriculture are? I know that factory farms contribute more than fossil fuels to the greenhouse gas mess.

Maybe a good message for people is to eat less meat?

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Lisa Files 14-12-2017, 15:49

Thanks Kristin. Yes, this is a good message, to eat less meat. Come to our One Earth Film Festival from March 2 to 11 to watch films and get ideas about all the ways we can reverse climate change. Thanks for reading! Lisa Files

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Michael Iversen 15-12-2017, 09:04

I attended the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference in 2009 as a member of a NGO. After obtaining my NGO credentials and arriving in Copenhagen, I learned the next day that all NGOs were banned from attending the conference. While monitoring the conference, it became apparent the U.S. was one of the primary obstructionist to any agreement, inside cutting a backroom deal (the Copenhagen Accord) with China, India, South Africa and Brazil after the conference officially ended, that was rejected by the UN the following day. Of course, the volunteer goals from almost every nation were never realized, and greenhouse gases have increased at their typical rates every year since.

Peer-reviewed journal research has already found that the volunteer goals and targets of the Paris Agreement are largely being unmet. It would appear that the UN Climate Change Conference process is a means for developed nations to make voluntary, aspirational goals with long time horizons and no accountability, as a means of protecting the global socioeconomic status quo.

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