Question 3: What lessons can we learn from Copenhagen? 

The CIGI ’10 Climate of Action conference gathered over 60 experts in climate policy and science to join in a weekend of lively and innovative dialogue about the global governance of climate change. Throughout the conference, we sat down with many of our distinguished conference participants, to hear their points of view on some of the key topics covered in our roundtable discussions. This video series aims to provide a brief introduction to the issues, as well as a synopsis of the key messages and insights that arose from conference discussions.

In the first Roundtable discussion, participants took stock of where we stand today, and more importantly, what obstacles are blocking the road to future and meaningful progress. Participants focused much of their attention on past international climate negotiations, particularly the Copenhagen Conference of December 2009, which stood out as a failure in terms of delivering and enforcing substantial targets and action. Negotiator fatigue, lack of high-level expertise, a climate of mistrust, and a failure to follow through on commitments and program implementation are amongst the chief obstacles cited by conference participants regarding these negotiations. In the following video, conference participants elaborate on some of the problems with past international climate negotiations, as well as the lessons we can draw from these setbacks.


Mr. Shayam Saran, Special Adviser, Prime Minister's Office (India)
Mr. Shyam Saran joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1970, and has since served as a diplomat in world capitals such as Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva. In the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Saran headed the Economic Division, the Multilateral Economic Division and the East Asia Division. After serving as Joint Secretary in 1991 – 1992, advising the Prime Minister on foreign, nuclear and defense policy, Mr. Saran was appointed India’s Foreign Secretary in 2004. Since his retirement in 2006, Mr. Saran has been appointed as Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change.

Dr. PAN Jiahua, Director, Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies
Dr. PAN Jiahua is currently director of the Institute for Urban & Environmental Studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and professor of economics at the CASS Graduate School. He is a member of both the China National Expert Panel on Climate Change and the Foreign Policy Advisory Group. In addition, he is advisor to the Ministry of Environment Protection and vice-president of the Chinese Society of Ecological Economists. Dr. PAN Jiahua’s past activities include working for the UNDP Beijing Office as an advisor on environment and development and being a lead author of the IPCC Working Group III 3rd and 4th Assessment Report on Mitigation.

Dr. Youba Sokona, Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group III for the Fifth Assessment Report

Dr. Youba Sokona is a Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III for the Fifth Assessment Report. He was the Executive Secretary of the Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) from 2004 to 2010. Before joining OSS, he was the Coordinator of the Energy Programme and the Executive Secretary for international relations of Environnement et Développement du Tiers Monde (ENDA-TM). Working predominantly at the nexus of environment and development, he has broad experience in policy development through research and analysis, and organizing and leading multi-stakeholder processes. Throughout his career, Dr. Sokona has served in advisory capacities to various African governments and organizations.

Dr. David Runnalls, Distinguished Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development
David Runnalls is a Distinguished Fellow with IISD. He is a member of several Boards and Councils, including the Board of the Institute of Advanced studies of the United Nations University, the Council for Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the World Environment Center, and the International Institute for Technology and Development. He has served as Co-Chair of the China Council Task Force on WTO and Environment and was a member of the federal External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation. Mr. Runnalls has served as senior advisor to the president of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, and to the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. He was director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Programme at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa.

Bruce Carson, First Executive Director, Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE)
Mr. Bruce Carson is the first executive director of the CSEE after more than two decades in politics. He is also a professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He served as co-chair of a task force developing a new method for dealing with specific claims by First Nations. Mr. Carson served as director of policy and research for the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper when he was the leader of the Opposition and as the director of Progressive Conservative Party Research Service – Queen’s Park. In his most recent role as senior policy advisor to Prime Minister Harper, he has spent the last three and a half years  working on policy in both the energy and environment portfolios.

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