Post-COP-17 World: Bye Bye UNEP Climate Neutral Network

Curiously, or tellingly, this piece of news hasn’t hit the headlines: on Dec 20, 2011, “the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced the closure of the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net)“, a 3-year-old effort.

According to the accompanying press release

Members of the web-based platform, which allowed companies, organizations, cities and states to showcase their climate neutral strategies, and to share and access information and ideas with fellow participants, are being invited to approach other similar platforms to continue their climate neutral efforts.

Beginning with just 13 participants, the network today consists of 300 members, who have been aiming at different paces and scale to work towards low carbon growth.

Some 10 countries, 7 regions, 19 cities, 156 companies, 40 organizations and 11 universities joined CN-Net.

Highlights of the CN-Net campaign include “A Case for Climate Neutrality: Case Studies on Moving Towards a Low Carbon Economy” – a publication showcasing green business strategies from the network’s members – and projects on eco-tourism in Kenya and Tanzania.

Participants are now being invited “to build on their activities and continue to pursue a low carbon, climate neutral direction by joining other existing initiatives that offer paths that may be now better able to assist in evolving and achieving their long-term goals“.

So what does it all mean? The press release gives the faintest of hints (my emphasis):

In October 2011, UNEP in collaboration with the city of Arendal, convened a ‘webinar’ to discuss options for the future.

Following feedback from members, it was decided to close the platform and present the offer of handing over the campaign to the three platforms in order to better focus international and local efforts in this field.

In fact, the webinar presented some alarming wording already (my emphasis):

The conference will be an opportunity to share CN Net successes and challenges. Most importantly, It will enable the participants to discuss a range of issues concerning the continuity and ongoing viability of the CN Net programme. We strongly encourage CN Net participants to use this opportunity as a platform to share their experiences with other members as well as raise any issues.

Italian eco news gatherer site Greenreport.it may as well be right then in reporting (automated English translation):

The city of Arendal and UNEP had convened a “webinar” to discuss options for the future, but the response by members of CN Net has been disengagement.

In other words, nobody’s interested any longer.