I hope it’s clear by now that although I am highly sceptical about our ability to control the climate, I do care deeply about the environment. One of the things that constantly bothers me about the climate-concerned, is that attempts to control the climate always seem to trump concerns about the environment, to the extent that they often cause more harm than good. That is, inter alia, why I wrote “Saving the Planet by Trashing It”i and “For Peat’s Sake”ii.
Nevertheless, there is another side to this, or at least there can be. Some people at the United Nations do seem to care about the environment for its own sake, not just as a useful tool to enable them to scream hysterically about climate change. Climate COPs are not the only ones held by the UN, for instance. Many people might be blissfully unaware that there are also biodiversity COPs.
Of course, one reason why many people have no idea about the biodiversity COPs, is because the UN don’t take them anything like as seriously as the climate COPs, and the mainstream media don’t seem to be much interested either. I have written this on 25th April, the very day that Part 2 of COP15 on Biodiversity should have started to take place in person in Kunming, China, following the first part of the conference, which took place virtually from 11th to 15th October 2021.
Not only was the issue deemed to be sufficiently unimportant for the first part of the meeting to be held in person (presumably because of covid concerns) – compare and contrast the climate COP 26 in Glasgow; but nobody seems much bothered to get on with the in-person bits of the conference. Last year the UN websiteiii told us that Part 2 of the conference, the in-person bit, would take place in Kunming commencing today, and would continue until 8th May 2022. We were told:
The second and resumed part of the meetings are expected to address the remaining agenda items, including the finalization and adoption of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework.
We were also told:
The Secretariat will keep Parties and the public updated of any changes and adjustments to the schedule.
And now we learniv (the update was provided on 19th April 2022, less than a week before Part 2 of COP 15 was supposed to commence) that:
The second part of COP 15 will take place in the third quarter of 2022 (dates to be determined).
Yes, so seriously do the folks at the UN take the issue of biodiversity, that they haven’t even bothered yet to agree on some alternative dates. Nor is any reason offered for the delay. And the delay is occurring even though that we are told that:
Despite on-going efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to worsen with business-as-usual scenarios.
Which all makes a bit of a nonsense of the above headline to a rare BBC articlev on its website, dating to 29th March 2022. It was tucked away in the “Science & Environment” section, with no chance of it getting near the front section of the BBC website (again, compare and contrast the near hysterical reporting through most of last year, reaching fever pitch when COP 26 was about to commence). By then, it appears that delays were already anticipated, since we were then told that the conference was expected to resume in August 2022. The article also told us:
Observers have slammed the “snail’s pace” of negotiations and are pressing for a strengthening of ambitions.
Divisions remain, including over financing the plans.
Observers might well slam the snail’s pace of negotiations, and they have even more reason to do so now, since April has slipped to maybe August, to perhaps the third quarter of the year, but on dates yet to be determined. Yet has anyone at the BBC or the Guardian, the COP 26 cheer-leaders, bothered to report on the continuing delays? Has Bernadette Fischler Hooper, head of international advocacy at WWF-UK been wheeled out again to comment on the delay? Not so far as I can see, despite the seriousness of the situation:
Scientists have issued repeated warnings about threats to nature driven by human actions, including chopping down forests and turning natural land over to farming.
A landmark 2019 assessment warned that nature was declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with up to one million species facing extinction.
The Cop15 conference in Kunming is expected to take place almost two years later than originally planned due to repeated delays caused by the Covid pandemic.
This has left the world without targets over the course of this decade for halting extinctions and reversing the worldwide loss of nature.
Meanwhile, the spoiled kid that is the climate change lobby continues to gain all the limelight.
Who cares? I do, but I’m not sure many people at the UN, BBC or the Guardian are really much bothered.