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Thank you for sending me the links to your submission to UNFCCC and I certainly do support this clear focus on the global convergence that is necessary to deal with climate change by developing a better sense of collective responsibilities for our future.
After being a climate scientist for more than 30 years one realises that the main issue is not about the levels of confidence in the science, but whether or not the human race can actually operate with a sense of collective responsibility. The main barriers to acceptance of such an approach come from the fossil fuel industry and its influence on governance systems in the western world. For example, in New Zealand we have the best source of tidal power in the world, called the Cook Strait, and, despite some people trying to develop this natural resource, our government is subsidising development of very deep sea drilling for oil and gas north of NZ in an area that is close to a continental plate boundary and so very susceptible to earthquakes.
During my involvement in the IPCC process, I knew the chair Bob Watson very well but could only watch in disbelief when Exxon wrote to President George Bush telling him to prevent Watson from being re-elected in 2002. And that happened. So there is a battle going on and much of it is being driven by some industries. A more positive move on pushing the UNFCCC process forward has come from the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), that has a collective approach to the management of global investments of about $20 trillion, and this could be linked to developing broader acceptance of the need for convergence. Do you have any contact with IIGCC?
Prof Martin Manning
Climate Change Research Institute
School of Geography Environment and Earth Studies
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand