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Our Insights 2 Dec 2008

Best climate for climate talks? (COP 14)

By Geoff Lye

I bumped into Yvo de Boer (UNFCCC General Secretary) a number of times in Bali and found him extremely approachable. So when I spotted him at the Reception hosted Monday night by the Polish Environment Minister for all COP participants, I broke into his small group only to get a very quick cold shoulder. What I had not realised was that he and the Environment Minister were being briefed on the speeches they were about to give to the thousands in the room. Backed off with tail between legs. I got a similarly brusque response, however, from an old client and COP acquaintance this morning; he looked very grey and very harassed. I began to wonder if weather plays a part in these COP processes. In Bali, Yvo was sporting a Balinese floral collarless shirt – but in Poznan a suit and tie. There is definitely a grey feel here which cannot be helpful in lifting the parties’ spirits when they need it. I hope I’m wrong, but maybe COP 15 should have been booked into a sunnier clime?

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