Climate Change Conferences

Climate Change Conferences

climate change

New Idioms are “In the way of” and “Hinge on.” The English Grammar focuses on Demonstrative Pronouns and the Passive Voice.

Bill: “What are these climate change conferences at the United Nations?”
John: “They hold them every year. Since 1992.”
Bill: “What happened then?”
John: “There was a scientific consensus. CO2 emissions cause global warming. We have to reduce them.”
Bill: “That means developed countries, right?”
John: “Yes, highly developed countries are more responsible for this.”
Bill: “I know people argue about it all the time.”
John: “For corporations, this stands in the way of profit. So it is very annoying.”
Bill: “Even presidential elections hinge on these debates.”
John: “Corporations must be regulated more strictly.”


Climate change means a change in the world’s climate. See online Dictionary.
Scientific consensus means general agreement in the community of scientists in a particular field. See online Dictionary.
In the way of means obstructing someone or interfering in something. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Hinge on (upon) is verb+preposition and means to depend or be contingent on. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Demonstrative Pronouns; Passive Voice

“We should reduce those.” Demonstrative pronouns are used to point out something. They are “this, that, these and those.”

Passive Voice

Basic recap: In English, voice is either active or passive, and describes whether the sentence subject is the actor or is acted upon. In the passive voice, a noun phrase occupies the subject position in the sentence and receives the action of the verb. The agent of the sentence is not the subject, and the verb form is usually the past participle. If the agent is mentioned in the sentence, it will be in a prepositional phrase beginning with the preposition “by.”

In our dialogue, the agent is not mentioned: “Corporations must be regulated more strictly.

Here is an example of adding an agent: “Corporations must be regulated more strictly by the government.


A new Idiom is “Greenwashing.” The Grammar focuses on Tag Questions.

Salman: “Macron in France will contribute $53 million to environmental causes.”
Gale: “Where did he announce that?”
Salman: “There was a two-day summit in Gabon, Africa.”
Gale: “That was about tropical forest preservation, wasn’t it?”
Salman: “Yes. The Congo Basin has the world’s largest tropical rainforests. They are studying how to achieve preservation and economic growth together.”
Gale: “To protect the present and also the future?”
Salman: “Exactly. There is a carbon credit scheme to reward countries who preserve their forests. France is part of that. This monetary pledge goes towards that.”
Gale: “I read that Coca-Cola is involved.”
Salman: “I get the irony. Coca-Cola is the largest plastic polluter in the world. So we’re talking greenwashing, aren’t we?
Gale: “Yes. But these UN Climate Change conferences are critical to solving humanity’s problems.”


Carbon Credit Schemes are a way of reimbursing nations for following scientifically responsible plans for forest preservation to combat climate change.
Monetary pledge means a pledge of a certain amount of money. See online Dictionary.
Greenwashing is a form of advertising or marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used. They want to persuade the public that an organization’s products and policies are environmentally friendly. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. It incorporates product modification and sustainable packaging. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Tag Questions

“So we’re talking greenwashing, aren’t we?” Tag questions are usually sentence-final, and consist of two parts, a short question form called a “tag” appended to a clause, called the “anchor.” The tag usually contrasts in polarity with the anchor, as in this example. The clause (“we’re talking greenwashing”) is positive, as opposed to the tag, which is negative (“aren’t we?”).

Learn Conversational English
About the Author
English Grammar Categories
480 English Idioms