Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

The failures of COP26 and COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Summits, are nothing new. For 25 years now these summits have failed to deal with the enormous problem of global warming.

An exception is the UN Ocean Treaty finally adopted in 2023 after 20 years of negotiations.

Here in the right column are articles about the summits published by CPNN from since the landmark Rio+20 conference in 2012.

CPNN has published several bulletins critiquing the summits. One was published in January 2020. Another was published following COP21 at the end of 2015 which produced the so-called “Paris Agreement.”

At that time we said:

There are many contradictory opinions about the results of the Paris Climate Agreement, so CPNN turned to two of the most independent and scientific authorities, James Hanson, the former Nasa scientist, who first alerted the world to climate change in 1988, and Naomi Klein, Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization (see CPNN review of her most recent book, This Changes Everything).

According to James Hanson the agreement is a complete fraud, diverting us from the real cause of global warming. which is the continued reliance on oil and coal. According to his most recent research, if we do not radically cut this reliance, “the sea level could soon be up to five meters higher than it is today by the latter part of this century [which] would inundate many of the world’s cities, including London, New York, Miami and Shanghai.

According to Naomi Klein, the Paris agreement takes us backwards. At least the Kyoto Accord of 1997 included binding language, while the Paris Accord does not. And Klein makes the link between the reliance on oil and the disastrous wars of recent years: “Do we think Iraq would have been invaded if their major export had been asparagus [as journalist Robert Fisk once asked]? Probably not. We wanted that prize in the west, Iraq’s oil. . . This destabilized the whole region, which was not particularly stable to begin with because of earlier oil wars and coups and support for dictatorships.”

In our bulletin following Rio+20 in 2012, we wrote:

“The events surrounding the Rio + 20 summit of States from around the world have exposed a turning point in history. The states have been unable to advance in the face of the world’s environmental crisis. Instead, it is the civil society, including cities, youth and indigenous peoples who have taken the leadership in preparing for the next stage of human history.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

COP28 Fails to Deliver a Fossil Fuel Phaseout

Amazon Rainforest Nations Gather to Forge a Shared Policy

United Nations: Behind at halftime, but all still to play for in race to 2030 as top political forum closes

G77 Statement to High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Historic UN Ocean Treaty agreed – Greenpeace statement

Greenpeace on COP15: A bandage for biodiversity protection

The Elders welcome historic breakthrough on loss and damage at COP27, but call on G20 leaders to phase out fossil fuels faster

Amnesty International: Leaders’ catastrophic failure on climate at COP26 shows they have forgotten who they should serve and protect – humanity at large

Amid rain and wind, Catholics join 100,000 demonstrators at COP26 climate march

COP26: Thousands of young people take over Glasgow streets demanding climate action

At Major March in Madrid, Indigenous & Youth Activists Slam Global Leaders for Climate Inaction

In Final Hours, COP 25 Denounced as ‘Utter Failure’ as Deal Is Stripped of Ambition and US Refuses to Accept Liability for Climate Crisis

The U.S. is trying to get out of paying climate damages to poor countries

‘Morally Unacceptable’: Final Deal Out of COP24 Sorely Lacking in Urgency and Action, Climate Campaigners Say

‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

Naomi Klein: We are going backwards, COP21 is the opposite of progress

ICLEI Declaration to the Ministers at COP21, Paris, France

Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela Agree to Defend Mother Earth at COP21

‘The World Is Watching and Expectations Are High’, Secretary-General Says at Intergovernmental Negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda

ICLEI’s evaluation of the outcomes of Rio+20

Youth: the Spirit of Cosmopolitanism

People’s Summit Closing Press Conference