Paris meeting on climate in 2015 “last chance”: Sachs

In a talk in the largest room at the Moscone Center of the American Geophysical Union today, Jeff Sachs, an economist from Columbia-Doherty, currently working for the United Nations, said frankly that the meeting of nations in Paris next year will be the world's "last chance" at climate safety. 

Sachs just came from the climate talks in Lima, which he said was a stage-setter for the deal-making to come in Paris next December. Suzanne Goldenberg reported on the Lima talks for The Guardian:

There was one thing above all others that wealthy countries wanted out of the Lima negotiations and that was a method of accounting for emissions cuts.

The issue that mattered above all to developing countries was deciding who should carry the burden of emissions cuts, and getting the money flowing for climate aid.

For small island states, acknowledgement of “loss and damage” due to climate change was critical. All three contingents got what they wanted – sort of. The deal reached on Saturday afternoon was critical in keeping the talks on track. The US and the European Union had pushed hard for a text that would require countries to offer upfront information about the nature of their pledges to cut emissions – “clarity, transparency and understanding”.

Sachs said that world governments and populations — even the American population — have been expressing a great deal of concern about what he calls "climate safety." The Congress is a different story, he says. 

David Koch owns it. A game of sorts is being played, to see how much money can be poured into how many districts to defend the interests of coal, oil, and natural gas. 

The NYTimes made the same point in June of this year, in an editorial and image:


Nonetheless, Sachs remains confident the wheel will turn, pointing to Teddy Roosevelt, the rise of the Progressive Movement, and even the 60's as examples. He said. 

I don't believe it's impossible. Major systems do undergo change. We're long overdue for another one. 


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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