COP26: Washout or stepping stone?

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

COP26 reached what many believe top be a historic agreement in Glasgow last night.

We've asked the team at our partners Axelisys to look at the agreement passed in Glasgow last night and they pulled out the commitments within the 11 page document, grouping them by historic or present tense.

Keen observers may note that the one word that's missing from all of the commitments is “Act”

Axelisys are giving away this free graphic below. Simply right click and download it.

Epilogue to COP: The United Nations. Limited by Consensus

It is not common knowledge that the UN operates by consensus. It is not a shared sovereignty organisation like the European Union. Its governing documents require unanimous consensus and only relatively rarely need a vote. The reality is no consensus means a motion disbands and very little action happens from there.

Having to "go together" means going far into a future we don't have. This need to constant pander to unanimity can mean movements like this are watered down and meaningless. Not only that, in times of crisis they're also a liability, because time is limited and more damage is done while unanimity is begged. Much like that which saw the league of nations fail to prevent a repeat of World War I.

Also, it is up to member states to action the commitments they've made because the United nations is not a sovereign body or country of its own. Their power to implore and compel is limited and no enforcement action exists in such published commitments. This means the language of these agreements is usually very weak compared to, say, parliamentary bills, which can compel through domestic legal systems.

So, of course, 11% of the time we have left before 2030 is now to be spent waiting. Notwithstanding the 2.7 degrees we're confirmed to be heading towards. The question is whether domestic markets will do anything in the interim, transportation systems, health systems and more will actually do something useful in the meantime. Notwithstanding they have to change the way they think about procurement and even scientific endeavour. In some ways, it feels like society has gone backwards in two weeks. Which means there's more to do than we could ever imagine!

While we have you...

Are you a radical decision maker? A pioneering innovator who understands system problems and wants to do something about fixing it?

Get in touch with the team as we're looking for true pioneers of the future that can expand the horizons of global health and manufacturing systems. including helping developing nations to leapfrog the northern hemisphere and who are serious about doing things to save the planet anywhere in the world.

We're looking for actors not talkers, Integrity not bluff, changemakers not advertisers. It's clear we can't rely on existing processes to do anything and our army must be prepared to do what it takes to disrupt literally everything about our societies for the good of people, planet and health.

if you think you have what it takes, get in touch and tell us what you're doing, why, what and who you know. We're open for connections.

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