Montreal Biodiversity COP15 December 2022

What is it about a bunch of high-ranking people getting together at a Conference of the Parties (COP) at some major metropolitan center with plenty of 4-star and 5-star hotels in order to figure out how to save the planet, but it never works!

For example, the tenth (10th) meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan from October 18-29, 2010. More than 13,000 delegates from around the world. The Aichi targets were designed to help, or in the best of cases, save or revive biodiversity.

Zoom forward twelve years to November 11th, 2022: A news release by Climate Change News announces the upcoming COP15 biodiversity conference scheduled for Montreal December 7-19, 2022: “In the past decade, countries agreed to a ten-year plan called the Aichi targets, aimed at halting biodiversity loss. A UN summary report shows countries failed to meet a single one of those targets.” 1

Thirteen thousand (13,000) delegates specially selected by countries of the world to save biodiversity agreed to save nature. Utter failure ensued.

There’s something happening in the world that’s very strange, maybe a curse or something “in the air” that hexes these get-togethers. The truth is: Get-togethers by thousands of well-intentioned people to save the planet time and again fail, not just a little bit, but total utter failure. For example, for more than 30 years climate conferences, COPs, e.g., Paris ’15, have miserably failed. Greenhouse gas emissions set new records by the year, which is going backwards, downhill into a deep climate change abyss. Eventually, the abyss will be so deep, if not already, that it’s impossible to climb back out.

More to the point, at some point in time, likely once biodiversity loss turns horrendous, much worse, maybe when humans start killing 200,000,000 million sharks for fin soup per year rather than the current 100,000,000 or as for climate change/global warming, when the Doomsday Glacier, Thwaites, the world’s widest glacier in West Antarctica crashes, leads to Miami Beach flooding, maybe that’s when the various Conference of the Parties, COPs, will turn dead serious and take drastic measures, which, by then, will be too late but maybe, hopefully, only hopefully, take some the edge off these ongoing disasters, even though the marine ecosystem crashes because of loss of its top predator, and desperately the Army Corp of Engineers scrambles to try to save Miami.

Montreal COP15 December 2022

Climate Change News’ intro to COP15 clearly states: “After a two-year delay and a change of location, the UN biodiversity summit aims to halt nature loss by 2030 and restore ecosystems. It could either be a success like the signing of the Paris Agreement or a dramatic failure like the 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen.”2

Hmm, well, the “signing of Paris” was a success; it’s the follow through, emission reduction targets, that miserably failed.

At COP15 more than 100 nations are expected to meet to agree to “protect 30% of all land and ocean ecosystems by 2030.” So far, the “big-forested countries” China, Brazil, and Indonesia have not accepted invitations to attend.

According to Brian O’Donnell of the advocacy group Campaign for Nature, following two years of online negotiations: “What started as a very good framework has ended up almost all in square brackets… indicating a lack of consensus.” 2

Of concern, even though the original meeting was to be held in China, which is still designated as “presidency of the talks,” China has not officially invited world leaders to the talks, which commence shortly. That very important task has fallen to Elizabeth Maruma Mreman, urging world leaders to attend rather than going to the World Cup. Tough choice to make!

Unfortunately, cynicism, anger, and fatigue are the byproducts of reporting on the various international Conference of the Parties (COPs) to save Planet A. Across the board, the failures of COPs add tons of credibility to the film Don’t Look Up (Netflix, December 2021) winner of the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Don’t Look Up is an apocalyptic political satire about two astronomers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence that spot an incoming asteroid and try to warn a largely numbed body politic, as party leaders urge their dumbed-down adherents not to look up, a campaign motto. Meanwhile, one of the president’s top funders, who was appointed to head NASA, has no background in astronomy, and stupidly assures, not to worry. The film not only points to the dangers of ignoring science but also targets how badly America has been dumbed down into submissive easy prey for bellicose politicians that care less about social welfare.

The Montreal COP15 most assuredly will be held, speakers will drone on about the necessity of saving Planet A’s basic life-supporting ecosystems, agreements will be touted, hands joined, thumbs up, but when 2030 arrives, well, who knows how bad it’ll be?

  1. “UN Nature Pact Nears Its ‘Copenhagen or Paris’ Moment”, Climate Change News, November 11, 2022. []
  2. Ibid. [] []
Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide. He can be contacted at: rlhunziker@gmail.com. Read other articles by Robert.