The most prominent global conference on climate change – the UNFCCC 23rd Annual Conference of Parties meeting – recently closed with much fanfare, talk of success and ‘being on track’. There was little to indicate that any significant headway had been made to curb the predicted catastrophic levels of global warming however. Hosted by the COP23 President and Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, it was the first time a small island nation had held such a role, and it was hoped by some that this would see a prioritisation of climate-affected small island states. Given the five yearly review cycles of the Paris agreement, this year’s COP was ostensibly orientated towards shoring up transparency measures and expanding frameworks for countries to meet climate goals. The main goal was to translate the global agreement made at last year’s meeting in Paris into a meaningful set of rules – rules that reflected not only the agreement to try to limit future global warming to 2C, but also the more ambitious target of a future limit of 1.5C. For many scientists, 1.5C is the threshold beyond which many island nations such as Fiji come under severe threat of ecological catastrophe.
Kanngieser A, Beuret, N and Sealey-Huggins, L 2017 On track to what? Colonialism, Climate Change and COP23 Red Pepper [Online]