Experts Discuss Copenhagen and Beyond

Pardee-Copenhagen-webThe Boston University Energy Club hosted a panel discussion, co-sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, on Tuesday, December 1 2009,  to discuss the prospects of what might come out of the Copenhagen negotiations, and what is likely to follow. The discussion  featured Prof. Adil Najam, Director of the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and Prof. Henrik Selin, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Faculty Fellow at the Pardee CenterThe session was moderated by Prof. Nalin Kulatilaka, of BU’s School of Management.

Both Prof. Najam and Prof. Kulatilaka will be traveling to Copenhagen, along with a number of other BU faculty and students, to be at these landmark global climate change negotiations. The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future was recently designated as an official observer organization for these negotiations.

Dr. Henrik Selin started the panel discussion with an analysis of what has happened in climate change negotiations  up to the Copenhagen meeting. He pointed out that climate change is not just an environmental issue but also a social, economic, and hence, a political issue. He explored the main challenges the world is facing in reaching a cohesive and integrated global climate change policy and argued that we need to look at a balance of mitigation and adaptation measures in addressing the issues.

Dr. Adil Najam gave a presentation on what’s beyond the Copenhagen climate change negotiations.  He addressed three questions: 1) What we should think about what will not happen at the Copenhagen meetings and what happens after? 2) What is the nature of “global-ness” in our globalized world and how does Copenhagen not get it? and 3) Why the Copenhagen meetings marks a transition in climate politics.?

After the presentations by the two panelists, Prof. Nalin Kulatilaka moderated a lively Q&A session that included discussion on water privatization issues in developing countries, the need for global governance and regional cooperation on climate policies, and equity issues including the extent of global involvement in the climate talks.