COP22, Cockpit Country and common ground

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Subsequently, the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) and the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12) is being held in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016.

On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. As a result, the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will take place in Marrakech in conjunction with COP 22 and CMP 12.

This is a pivotal time for global decision making on the state of the environment and the actionable steps needed by governments and countries to ameliorate against the effects of climatic changes and environmental degradation. Its hard to believe but there are still persons with their eyes wide shut, as that is the only explanation for them, denying what is a clear and present danger.

Those opposed to the science based evidence of the occurrence of climate change are sometimes scientists themselves, but primarily are those of the capitalist economy minded business sector. The laissez-faire /captalist model is referenced as having contributed to the highly natural resources extractive approaches that have left many countries in the developing world reeling with the after-effects.Concomitantly, the growth and development of many countries in the ‘North’ have been at the expense of countries in the ‘South.’ The dichotomous environment-development  nexus is debated in many lecture theaters, college hallways, scholarly publications, in social media, and treatise and theses.

The SDGs which came into being in September 2015 has highlighted the need for sustainable development…a more mindful approach to how we treat resources and how countries should relate to each other in making its policies and programmes in a widely connected world. Global recessions, in quick succession, harsh economic climates and banking crises all have forced an introspection at the individual all the way through household and country levels. It is not surprising that many of the economic paradigms of the last decades have been reviewed and are now being examined for the factors that have led to the significant meltdowns and also to determine whether or not there are key salvageable and meritorious elements that can be utilized to assist with a re-engineering of our thinking. The following link below is an interesting catalogue of NASA Then and Now earth images aimed at evoking empathy for the earth as we see the adverse changes unfolding over time.


I remain hopeful as an environmentalist and advocate that we will achieve common ground through mutually beneficial work plans. I also note that Jamaica’s own Cockpit Country’s boundary matter, the subject of a boundary dispute that is decades old, may soon be settled. The highest order of the country’s leadership has indicated this at the COP22. Legislation and the like will be promulgated regarding this matter. This matter was the subject of my graduate studies thesis and so I have a direct interest in how this evolves.




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