Gallery: COP16: Traffic Jams, Mired Talks, and Glimmers of Hope


The first week of talks is over at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, and my brain is mushy. It’s not from margaritas — what’s spinning me around is the political web of the talks, the freakishly high stakes, and how long it takes to get to the conference from downtown Cancun. The logistics of the conference are both frustrating its progress and creating new dialogues, while the world waits with bated breath for real solutions that will stem the onset of catastrophic climate change. Read on for our exclusive report straight from Cancun!

On the first day of COP16, I spent two and a half hours in traffic en route to the official venue in a bus with two African party delegates. I wasn’t the only one behind schedule. Walking into the Moon Palace Hotel, it was easy to get excited by the plenary statements of India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and others. They voiced their hope for commitment and compromise. Even the United States declared that “We are extremely eager to make progress here in Cancun.” But, of course, there’s more going on than the sound bites reveal. During the following press conference, applause only broke out once, for a journalist who complained about transportation: “Every hour we spend in traffic is an hour less we spend working, an hour less we spend on coverage.” Clap clap clap.

The response of COP President Patricia Espinosa Cantellano: “We are going to do our best.”


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1 Comment

  1. World Bank to Fund Deve... December 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

    [...] As COP16 in Cancun, Mexico winds down this week, and high hopes for a world-wide agreement on climate change fade once again, the World Bank has stepped up announcing just yesterday that it will fund carbon markets in developing nations. The pollution credit markets are widely recognized as a way to fund clean energy projects, in turn slowing the decimation of natural resources. While the COP16 conference was meant for the world’s richest nations to address how they would assist developing nations in a sustainable way, it looks like the World Bank tossed the fight and decided to go it alone – a wise decision considering the disappointing history of these meetings. [...]

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