In a surprise move, an acclaimed group of climate scientists has published an interim report to coincide with the culmination of the UN’s climate conference currently underway in Poznan, Poland. The scientists’ key message is that new evidence from recent developments suggests that the risk of ‘run-away’ climate talks has increased from ‘significant’ to ‘very likely’. The level of procrastination seen in international negotiations has now reached such an intensity that even formerly optimistic observers are now admitting that extended bureaucrat-induced climate talks are now almost unstoppable. “You can see it happening already”, said one down-hearted campaigner, “the talks still happen every year but never seem to get anywhere like they used to”.
The report includes a meta-analysis of a wide range of previous deadlocks and shows that as talks continue year after year with no credible outcome, the complexity of the system may lead to a so-called tipping-point being crossed, after which a positive feedback loop could result in discussions spiralling out of control into a quagmire of bun-fights and stand-offs. The damage to the UN system could be devastating.
Asked to comment on the report, a spokesman for a leading environmental group said, “we are very concerned about the implications of this new evidence. However, an increase in talk frequency will give us the chance to all get together more often. The traditional NGO party at these conferences is always a great bash and well worth flying round the world for”.
The report also documents evidence locked in ice cores showing that the risk of run-away talks has not been so high at any time in the last 650,000 years, not since the age of a famous climate campaigner known as Noah the Doomsayer. At this time it is thought that large parts of the population were sceptical of the notion of dangerous climate change. A vocal group called “Unicorns against Scaremongering” dismissed any real chance of a significant rise in sea-level and encouraged unproductive discussions that continued for many centuries. The outcome remains unknown to this day.
Ministers are due to comment on the findings on Friday but many expect the statement to be postponed until next year’s talks.