Sunday, December 20, 2009

Internet enhanced meetings for post-Copenhagen climate change negotiations

This is to propose the use of Internet enhanced meetings for the post-Copenhagen climate change negotiations. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP-15) ended inconclusively without a binding agreement. There will be a need for ongoing extensive negotiations. Also there were problems with the format of the conference in Copenhagen, with it difficult for so many delegates to be heard. An alternative is for smaller face to face meetings, with Internet access to people not at the venue to take part.

The recent Realising Our Broadband Future forum sponsored by the Australian Government provides a model for such events. I suggest the Australian Government could take a leadership role in hosting climate change talks. Australian universities and their counterparts around the world could assist with technology and venues for this.

A global electronic infrastructure now exists for information communication and online discussion. I suggest it is time that this infrastructure be put to work for global governance.

The Australian National University provided the venue for the first "Public Sphere" event, which Realising Our Broadband Futures grew out of. The Prime Minister recently announced a National Security College to train senior public servants. Given the security implications of climate change, global negotiations on the topic would seem a reasonable to explore.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Copenhagen Climate Change Train

The International Union of Railways (UIC) and DB (German Railways) cashed in on the in on the COP15 Copenhagen climate change talks with a "Train to Copenhagen" in conjunctions with UNEP and WWF.

The train left from Brussels on 5 December, travelling through Cologne and Hamburg (a route I have travelled) then Copenhagen for the conference. The usual train from Brussels to Cologne is the Thalys (using French TGV trains) From there through Berlin to Hamburg , using DB's ICE train.

It was claimed the rain ran on electricity from renewable sources. The renewable claim would be hard to prove and it is likely that at least part of the journey would be made using French nuclear generated power. This is not to say this is not a much more environmentally friendly means of transport that by aircraft, overall.

ps: Models of the Thalys and ICE are popular.

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