Monday, November 23, 2009

Talk shops

It's climate talk season for everyone, everywhere.

I'll be speaking again in Madrid this week, this time at the request of the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry's Casa Asia, their Asia House.

Last week's dialogue at the Spanish Observatory of Sustainability was very stimulating, so I'm looking forward to this other one this week.

I'm also speaking this week in Barcelona at the ASEFUAN Dialogue also organized by Casa Asia.

The energy around major international meetings such as Copenhagen is startling, regardless of the actual outcome.

The meetings of Parties to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) have become for environmentalists the equivalent of the Christians' Sunday mass (or maybe the Muslims' midday prayer). And the "summits" are the equivalent of the Christmas Midnight Mass or the Ramadan. The next one of those is Copenhagen.

Previously we've had, among others, the Earth Summit in Rio, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, and -- exactly 10 years ago -- the WTO Seattle Conference (I was there too).

Following with the analogy on religions, at these meetings and summits, you find all sorts of people. Sincere and inspired people, inspiring individuals who can move mountains...and also people who do not have much to do, but come out of curiosity or only to be seen.

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