TEDxPorto Countdown

Climate must be recognised and managed for what it is de facto : a Common Good!

 

We have been watching a stalemate in the climate negotiations hosted by the United Nations. At Climate Summits we expect decisive agreements that will stop the current heading-towards-the-cliff situation to avoid the worst effects and, hopefully, revert them.

Until now, no practical results have been reached. Negotiations are hard, complex, and long winded. And even after all pledges to commit with emissions reduction, the emissions of CO 2 and other gases with similar effects continue to  increase, even in countries that signal their deep commitment to contribute positively toward solving this problem.

 

Why is this happening?

The answer depends on whom you ask but it is becoming clear that the non-existing legal status of climate plays an important role in this stalemate.

Currently, climate change is seen only as a concern, as per the decision in the UN 43 rd Assembly in 1988 to focus efforts on the problem of climate change, thereby leaving the stable climate in an undefined legal status. We believe that this happens because climate spreads across and beyond borders, and therefore climate is not  recognized as a Common Good, that is, as something that belongs to all humanity. If this were the case, there would be rights emerging from benefits, and obligations emerging from damages.

This lack of recognition leads to two main  cascading effects. By not recognising rights emerging from benefits, we fail to incentivise those who can contribute with solutions, such as preserving/restoring ecosystems and removing carbon from the atmosphere. By doing so, we also have been unable to make an evolution on the concept value, and we keep the rule that only by producing emissions societies recognize wealth creation in the economy. In this scenario, it is impossible to reduce emissions.

The Mitigation Trap – A Concern does not clean the atmosphere.

 

Climate Change seen only as a common concern limited the action strategy to trying to reduce/neutralize new emissions (to mitigate de problem), preventing the development of a system of incentives to clean the atmosphere, even though the last reports of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) clearly demonstrated that only by actively removing CO 2 from the atmosphere it will be possible to avoid catastrophic climate change. Today there are still no systems in place to compensate actions and ecosystem services that reduce the total existent amount of CO 2 , that is negative emissions. In this scenario it is impossible to build one economy able to actively clean and hereafter  maintain a Stable Climate for the benefits of present and future generations. 

On November 5 th , 2021, the Portuguese Parliament approved the Climate Law, which states in its article 15 th paragraph f), the diplomatic objective of recognizing the Stable Climate as a Common Heritage of Humankind by the United Nations. This legal evolution can produce several positive cascading effects on human societies, namely the restoration of ecosystems, reduction of emission and climate justice.

TEDxPorto, in Porto, Portugal will host the TEDxPorto CountDown, with the goal of opening a worldwide discussion about the concept of global commons, climate, and the rights of future generations to benefit from this Heritage that has always belonged to everyone in the real world.

On June 6 th and 7 th 2023, join us on this discussion!

This will be an in-person Event.

Mandatory registrations will open in February 2023

SPEAKERS

Speakers will be announced soon

LOCATION

PALÁCIO DA BOLSA

Address: Rua de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto

Phone: (+351) 22 339 9000