There’s a woman by the name of Liz Gallagher, who happens to be one of the stable of luminaries associated with John Ashton‘s E3G shop. Ashton, you may recall, is the man who claimed that the U.K. Met Office is a “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science”.
Gallagher’s E3G bio indicates that:
[She] leads E3G’s Climate Diplomacy programme […which] focuses on how to construct high leverage political interventions which can shape an ambitious outcome in 2015 and beyond.
Liz has been working in the field of climate change and development since 2006, specialising in international climate politics. Whilst at [“the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales”] CAFOD, Liz co-chaired Climate Action Network’s international lobbying and policy group on climate finance at the UNFCCC negotiations, influencing and meeting with delegations from across the world. [hyperlinks added -hro]
To Gallagher’s credit, she makes no pretense of being a “scientist”, climate or otherwise – unlike some advocacy-driven individuals that one could name, but I shall refrain from doing so! However, there can be no question that “the cause” is where her heart is.
Consequently, I was not particularly surprised to see some contributions from Gallagher in recent posts on the blog of the RTCC (Responding to Climate Change), which claims to be a:
news and analysis website focused on providing the latest updates and insight into global low carbon developments.
In one post on the RTCC blog, Gallagher wrote:
The formal processes of the UNFCCC (UN climate body) will mosey on to plot the structure and lay out the policy options for the 2015 agreement. But it is the informal processes which have the most potential to shape the national interest debates in many critical countries.
In the past, the political dividends created from the informal processes have remained invisible to the naked UNFCCC negotiator eye until the ‘grand finale’, often resulting in considerable levels of frustration for those of us who track the COPs (annual UN climate summit) and intercessionals (smaller UN meetings).
Whilst it’s the informal processes (underpinned by national actions) that help shape the politics of the international climate regime, these fora receive less attention and management than their more formal counterparts.
The run up to Copenhagen was a prime example where climate was woven into a variety of informal venues only to create confusion about how to capture the momentum.
There will be lots happening in the run up to Paris. Choreographing is required to construct and prioritise the right dialogues, with the right audiences and venues at the right time.
Two critical audiences are Leaders and Real-Economy decision makers. In the run up to 2015, Leaders will deal with many issues and trade-offs relating to climate change.
In order to secure more ambition, there are some critical issues Heads of State and Government must internalise in order to inform the trade-offs and ambition. It is essential that Leaders understand their strategic interest for a successful 2015 agreement, and critically understand the consequences of failure.
What would failure mean for the future of multilateralism, their bilateral relations and for their prosperity? Several informal processes throughout 2014 provide an opportunity to craft this understanding.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report’s (AR5) outcomes will synthesise the climate impacts and drive home the reality of climate change and its impacts upon national interests.[emphases added -hro]
OMG! It is not sufficient that “Leaders understand … the consequences of failure”, they must “critically understand” these unnamed, if not unmentionable, consequences!
While Gallagher’s words are probably more honest than many we have seen, her assessments are, IMHO, somewhat … well … alarming!
YMMV, but I’m not sure how Gallagher might have been privy to the “outcomes” of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report – prior to its publication! Is she depending, one wonders, on an exposition of the “old narrative” or the “new narrative“?
Nonetheless, I give additional credit to Gallagher for her acknowledgement that there is a “Real-Economy” (as opposed to the still undefined “green economy”). Although, considering her bent and bias, it is within the realm of possibility that Gallagher has inadvertently added “Real-Economy” to an ever-growing list of words and phrases that have been redefined in the interest of “the cause”, of course!
But perhaps the most telling part of Gallagher’s essay is her claim that:
Choreographing is required to construct and prioritise the right dialogues, with the right audiences and venues at the right time.
Who are the “choreographers”, one wonders? Well, based on past performances, I could take some guesses: Thomas Stocker Co-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group I, certainly comes to mind! Can we look forward to more dances of deception from those who choreograph the “construction” of the “dialogues”, the “audiences” and the “right times”?