While on the plane to the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai, I realized that there were only two weeks until the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

Another year is about to pass and the urgency of the climate crisis is ever-apparent. Extreme weather is more frequent, damaging the poorest and richest alike. Doha represents the next battle between human beings and nature – as humans continue to argue as to what is to be done about this crisis. I am not trying to give answers here, but simply to pose some important questions that need to be addressed by those people who think they can make a difference.

Last chance?

Every year in the “warm-up” season to the UN climate talks, thousands of e-mails flood my mailbox, in which the term “last chance” figures prominently – a term I have been allergic to since Copenhagen. I have never doubted the cry for urgency to fight climate change, but I do doubt how useful it is to name the two weeks of negotiations as the last chance for change. If it is supposed to be a long fight, we have to live up to it and change the status quo strategically. Global Week of Action for Climate Justice is a good example: things won’t change on the negotiation table unless we can act on the ideas afterwards.

Why is Big blamed?

The US, EU and, most recently, China, have become the focus of blame for not dealing with the problems at hand. However, despite China’s efforts, with its NGOs playing a big role, it is still being regarded as not doing enough.

Many people blame the big oil lobbyists in the US; others offer solutions and showcase possibilities, for example, the UNEP Emissions Gap Report.

Beyond your imagination?

I passed an advertisement billboard recently which showed a small iceberg with a giant mountain below the surface of the water – “beyond our imagination”. So, is climate change the greatest crisis we are facing? Probably! But if we use our imagination it can also be the new future we create when addressing it together.

Author: Lo Sze Ping, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Greenovation Hub, an environmental NGO in China. Sze Ping is also a Young Global Leader (2012) and a Member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Civil Society. He can be reached at szeping@ghub.org.

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