One government — that of Bolivia — stood alone against the world at December’s UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. It dared to reject an agreement endorsed by 191 other nations. And Bolivia was right to do so. Cancun was a step backwards for action on climate change. Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, explained his country’s stance in the December 21 Guardian: “The text replaces binding mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with voluntary pledges that are wholly insufficient.
If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success. This phrase has become the unofficial motto of this year’s United Nations climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. A week out from Cancun, which runs over November 29 to December 10, there is little hope of meaningful progress. Yet key players have sought to throw a shroud of official optimism over the looming failure. Few Western politicians want a repeat of last year’s Copenhagen climate conference. They consider it a public relations disaster.