Every year for the past 18 years, there have been a high-level U.N. negotiations in December where 195+ countries attempt to agree on how to tackle our growing climate crisis. The COP (Conference of Parties) is an extraordinarily complex process involving numerous different components, which in theory will be bundled together (hopefully by 2015) into a real climate treaty.
The negotiations involve an alphabet soup of acronyms, and if you are not part of the initiated few who understand the inner workings of these negotiations, it is hard to understand what, if anything, is actually taking place. In reality, the COP 18 in Doha this week could be make or break for the climate.
In particular the conference is key to survival of many poor nations (referred to as LDC's) who have suffered the greatest impacts as a consequence of the carbon pollution emitted by wealthy countries. They are seeking immediate funding (pledged in Copenhagen in 2009) to help them prepare for further storms, droughts and climate-related health risks. COP 18 could also be a game-changer in removing an enormous historical obstacle to the talks — the Middle East. Nations like Qatar, UAE and even Saudi Arabia appear to be 'seeing the light' and realizing that their own economies would be strengthened if they reduced their carbon emissions.
TckTckTck* has launched a Doha hub to help "dewonkify" what is going on at COP18. It features videos and news, featured reports from the young "negotiator trackers" in Doha along with a live blog of events and a cool social media wall powered by a new company called COZMOS, which brings together tweets, Facebook posts, pins, YouTubes, and news stories filtered from a list of more than 100 people attending the negotiations.
The goal is to provide a comprehensive view from an array of different stakeholders to build a picture of what is really going on at the climate talks, cutting through the acronyms and wonkiness to reveal what people on the ground are saying about our hope for progress at the U.N. climate talks.
*NOTE: I'm the digital director for TckTckTck.org, an alliance of more than 365 organizations striving for greater ambition in tackling the global climate crisis.