To get almost 200 countries to agree on climate change is tricky. On Monday, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon said the climate change summit at Cancun later this year might not see such an agreement. The stalemate at Copenhagen last year, and recently at Bonn, is sufficient indicator of the difficulties in reaching a broad consensus on the subject. But when the top cheerleader for the negotiations admits this, it’s cause for concern.
That’s because the last time the world met on climate change, the costs outweighed the benefits. Preliminary estimates put the emission footprint of the Copenhagen summit at around 46,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, not to mention the millions spent. When you take opportunity costs into account, you get a severely skewed balance sheet.
The Cancun meet is likely to incur similar expenses, and, if Ban and others are to be believed, deliver similar results. Will it be worth the show?