As a general rule, I’d say anything that already has 789 credentialed media members covering it doesn’t need me there. That’s the announced size of the press contingent at the UN climate talks going on this week in Poznan, Poland. All those reporters should find something to write about, among the 10,696 reps from 187 countries.
And yet, expectations are not high for this round, which is described by the U.N.’s Yvo deBoer as “the halfway point” to a successor agreement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. DeBoer says he is hoping for substantive progress on matters like deforestation and technology transfer.
So far it’s sounding a lot like the recent Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Beverly Hills–at least until President-elect Barack Obama seized the crowd by laying out his aggressive plans for climate policy. His four-minute video greeting effectively let the air out of Poznan, which is being staffed, of course, by a U.S. delegation from the outgoing Bush administration.
Recently I had a chance to get a Poznan preview from Jonathan Pershing, a former science and climate advisor in the Clinton Administration, now at the non-profit World Resources Institute. You can hear my radio report about California’s influence on the tone of the UN climate talks on The California Report.
Use the audio player below to hear a one-minute excerpt from my interview with Pershing.