The latest IPCC report makes it completely clear that the world must reduce its carbon emissions. How can this be achieved? Every year the UN hosts a climate change conference that is meant to lead to an international agreement to curb carbon emissions. The 19th such conference took place last year in Warsaw. There were so many attendees to this conference, that it had to be held in the National Stadium. Over 10,000 attendees from 189 countries registered for the conference. For the 19th year in a row, little progress was made on establishing commitments to limit CO2 emissions. At one point, a block of 132 countries, led by China, walked out the conference in protest. These conferences aren’t working. Perhaps bigger gains could be made from a smaller gathering.
According to 2010 World Bank estimates, just three countries contribute about half of all the world’s CO2 emissions: the United States, China, and India. Obviously, for any global arrangement to be take hold, all three of these countries must agree to it. Given the enormity of their combined emissions, any agreement they can reach — even without the remaining 190 UN member states — will have a massive global impact. Instead of gathering all the world’s nations in a football stadium, it would seem to make better sense to develop a diplomatic framework for re-occurring meetings between these three nations focused on carbon emissions.