Horizon Social Media Analysis

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Success at COP21, a false optimism ?

According to our data, a vast majority of opinions expressed online are optimistic about a successful COP21. Almost everyone thinks that a deal will be signed, but opinion is more divided about what the deal will include.

Two days before the start of the Paris climate conference which runs until the 11th of December, Horizon COP21’s data says negotiations will be a success. 81% of internet users are optimistic about a successful event, with the same percentage among companies and the general public. Gaps start to appear, however, among other actors with optimism at only 55% for local government officials and 64% for NGOs.

 

If most people are agreed that a deal will be signed, they’re less sure as to what it will contain. According to a survey by Globescan from interviews with over 600 experts from 69 nationalities, 92% believe that COP21 will end with the signature of a deal. Only 4% of them, however, think that this will reduce emissions in line with the 2-degree target by the end of the century. Environmentalists believe COP21 will succeed because a deal will be signed, but will fail because it won’t be enough.

 

Political will

 
It seems that this public enthusiasm comes partly from the positive messages which have been hammered home by political leaders over the last few days and which have perhaps been strengthened by those of the French and American administrations.
 
Do people and politicians want the same thing ?
 
According to our data, the most common argument put forward is that 155 countries have submitted plans for the COP21 so far, covering 88% of global CO2 emissions. A trend no amount of lobbying will be able to influence. The data speaks volumes; but as what constitutes success is so open to debate, it should be taken with caution.
 
 
This article was written at the start of COP21. At the end of the big conference on climate, once the data has been updated, the trends remained globally the same. NGOs appear a bit more optimistic, 76% of them think that COP21 will succeed, whereas only 65% thought so ten days earlier. Among all actors, the figures rose weakly, most of the time between 1 and 5%. Meanwhile in France, where the Internet community has been particularly active, optimism fell by 4%.