Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

4 Weird Things About the Climate Summit

See Part 1 here (click)

#1. A press release for the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit declares that the entity hosting this event is “a new international organization.”

But the website of the Global Center on Adaptation (CGA) says it was founded in 2018. Few of us would mistake a three-year-old for a newborn, so this is a bit odd.

click to enlarge; source here; backup copy here

That misleading press release is now all over the Internet. A copy can be found on the Associated Press website, as well as at AsiaNetNews, at, and on the website of Italy’s Economy magazine. (This is by no means an exhaustive list.)


#2. But there’s more to the GCA backstory, and the 2018 claim is itself questionable. This entity actually began life as the Global Center for Excellence on Adaptation (GCECA). Here’s the old logo:

In February 2017, the UN announced that the Netherlands, Japan, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) would establish the center. That may be the first occasion in which this entity was officially described as “new” (see here, here and here).

In September 2017, two Dutch cities were chosen to host it – Rotterdam and Groningen (see here and here). In the case of the latter, the GCECA would be housed in the airy, state-of-the-art, uber sustainable Energy Academy Europe building.

In November 2017, the GCECA was officially launched during the UN’s regular, year-end climate summit (COP 23, in Bonn).

By the following September, the organization had undergone a name change and adopted a new logo. Incoming CEO Patrick Verkooijen explained at the time that the shorter name and “new senior staff” marked the organization’s “next chapter.” Next chapter. Not the founding of a new entity.

In October 2018, former UN head Ban Ki-moon ceremonially opened the GCA offices in the above-mentioned building. The University of Groningen public relations department published a long account of the event, as well as numerous photos such as this one:

click for photo source

  • first announced: Feb. 2017
  • locations chosen: Sept. 2017
  • officially launched: Nov. 2017
  • name changed: Sept. 2018
  • Groningen office ceremony: Oct. 2018

This timeline does not support the claim that the GCA was founded in 2018. In my experience, when an entity can’t be bothered to describe itself accurately, that’s a red flag.


#3. The same month Ban Ki-moon opened the Global Center on Adaptation’s Groningen office, he also launched the closely connected Global Commission on Adaptation.

The acronym for both entities is GCA. Which surely invites confusion. Here’s Groningen University referring to the Center as the GCA. Here’s it referring to the Commission as the GCA.

Some analysts think green organizations deliberately structure themselves in ways that make it difficult for outsiders to understand what’s going on. That, of course, would be the opposite of transparent.


#4. Both arms of the organization hosting the Climate Adaptation Summit are awash in UN personnel.

CEO of the Center, Verkooijen, has an extensive employment history with the World Bank – a UN agency.

Both the Center and the Commission are led by Ban Ki-moon, the former head of the UN.

The Commission has two co-chairs. One is billionaire Bill Gates – a massive funder of the UN’s World Health Organization. The other is Kristalina Georgieva. She’s currently managing director of the International Monetary Fund (a UN agency). Before that she was CEO of the World Bank.

But that’s just the beginning. Among the additional 32 commissioners, we find eight UN power brokers:

  1. the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director, Inger Andersen
  2. the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet
  3. the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS executive director, Winnie Byanyima
  4. the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa
  5. the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change former executive secretary, Christiana Figueres
  6. the United Nations Development Programme administrator, Achim Steiner
  7. the UN’s World Meteorological Association secretary general, Petteri Taalas
  8. the UN’s World Bank director of operations, Axel van Trotsenburg

In other words, the GCA is just the UN in disguise. It doesn’t call itself a UN body, but that’s what it is. This is one of the UN’s many faces. This is yet another mechanism by which un-elected UN bureaucrats promote UN policies and goals.

The UN is a champ at organizing meetings. It produces an endless river of reports. But as I’ve observed elsewhere, it’s real-world record is another matter. After an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, UN peacekeepers introduced cholera to that country. Six years and 10,000 deaths later, Ban Ki-moon finally apologized – but his apology shamefully failed to acknowledge how the cholera got there.

Lawsuits against the UN on behalf of injured Haitians have gone nowhere because UN personnel are protected by diplomatic immunity. They are an untouchable class, a law onto themselves. Whenever anyone discusses the UN, that’s the vital point to remember.

UN bureaucrats perch up there in the clouds, atop pedestals, insisting they know best. They have no skin in the game. When things turn to dust, they shrug their shoulders and hop over to the next job.

Since they can never be held accountable for the damage they inflict, it will always be a bad idea to place our future in their hands.


Read Part 3 here


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This entry was posted on January 20, 2021 by in ethical & philosophical and tagged , .
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