Let our actions be the guardians of our dreams

13 Dec. 2009

What's lacking for negotiations' progress?

First published on

Have you noticed that some of the most admired and care attracting people we know are the helpful ones? Have you realized that the best way to earn somebody's respect and commitment is trust?

Those seem like very obvious statements, lessons we learn very early in life. Well, maybe not as much.

Observing the COP plenary this morning, some mental paradigms were clear:

- Tell me the size of your commitment and I'll do just a little less (when discussing greenhouse emission targets)

- I will just sign an agreement obliging me if we all sign another one obliging others (developed countries trying to suspend the Kyoto Protocol, because it was not guaranteed that the Long term Climate Agreement would be ready)

- I wanna take advantage of somebody else, even if I need to create a doubtful reason (oil producers, wanting money from developed countries to compensate their revenues loss with a low carbon economy)

- I share the dream, but don't want to take the sacrifices to get there (all countries, when trying to lower their commitments)

If we seriously want to keep global warming under 2 degrees, we urgently need to change this win-lose mental model. This is not a trade negotiation when the less I conceive, the more I gain. In the climate discussion, the more I do, the better for everyone (including me!). And if trust inspires commitment, who is going to step up and announce a seriously challenging target?

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