There is no Plan B? Response to French climate chief Laurence Tubiana

“There is no plan B,” said Laurence Tubiana, the chief of the climate envoy of the country hosting the COP21, on October 28 at a press conference.

First of all: we are glad to see Laurence Tubiana clearly takes the problem of climate change seriously and shows the urge to come to a solution during the COP21. That being said: her choice of words is rather unfortunate as adopting Thatcher’s “there is no alternative” frame makes it more likely that there indeed will be no alternative to the current business as usual trajectory of 3 degrees of warming.

“I can’t be more explicit than I have been all along the week… I don’t think parties should shy away from responsibilities. We don’t need another text… we don’t need to invest in a new one,”  – Laurence Tubiana

“There is no plan B”  is a worrying statement as it narrows down the set of solutions to cope with climate change to one particular solution: a climate treaty. As a hosting country it would be better be open to suggestions and ideas your guests bring in rather than discarding these ideas beforehand.

Furthermore, it is important to realise that a plan B does not jeopardize the process of plan A; it functions to safeguard that process. Our advice to the French hosts: Adopt a plan B that makes sure that, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the fossil fuels that need to stay in the ground, remain there. CapGlobalCarbon is a legitimate plan B for this purpose.

If she had said “There is no planet B” we’d have agreed, and if she said “lets hope we don’t have to fall back on a plan B” we’d have agreed as well. But if there is one thing the COP21 desperately needs it is a Plan B.

If you agree, we kindly invite you to tweet this statement to @LaurenceTubiana to encourage her to take a solution-oriented stance.

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