COP15: a damaged chair?
10 December: Denmark, the chair of the present climate policy negotiations, suffers from some serious loss of trustworthiness. A draft negotiation text circulating in the first couple of days of COP15 was heavily criticised by the developing countries and environmental organisations, urging UNFCCC’s Yvo de Boer to state it was not an official text. It didn’t help. Official or not, everybody already knew what status it had.
Therefore the developing countries have lost some confidence in the Danish chair. COP15 president Connie Hedegaard – recently appointed EU Commissioner for Climate – has a lot of repairing to do.
The draft text contained some serious flaws and even some inconsistent figures, saving the richer countries from the right ambitions. The overall emissions reduction should be 50% by 2020, compared to 1990. That’s not very new. But the annex in one of the versions contained a resulting figure of 80% reduction by developed countries, which should have been 90% to 95%, in order to level per capita emissions between richer and poor countries.
Yesterday evening another clash occurred, which forced COP president Hedegaard to suspend the COP negotiations and proceed with ‘informal consultations’ – which really are bilateral and multilateral negotiations in the rooms and corridors in order to resolve the differences.
The issue was raised by the small islands, united in Aosis. They want a legally binding agreement at the end of Copenhagen which is an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. As I explained earlier, there is much discussion about whether the Kyoto Protocol should be renewed after 2012 (the poor countries' wish), or a completely new Copenhagen Protocol should be established (like the US and Australia want). The poor countries especially like the binding targets for the so-called ‘Annex-I’ (=rich) countries.
Small islands requested a special contact group to discuss the issue, but there was severe opposition from other countries like Saudi-Arabia and China. This caused the suspension of the ‘Conference of Parties’ to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is one formal part of the Copenhagen negotiations. It also affected the other part, the COP/MOP, which is essentially the convention of the countries that participate in the Kyoto Protocol.
Do you still follow? Anyway, by noon today, the COP had not yet resumed. Basically, all you need to know is that work continues. Although it is a serious matter that has to be resolved.
A multi-billion dollar authority’s view
An interesting view on the financial gap separating low offers from the rich countries and high demands by the poor comes from outside the circle of ‘usual suspects’. US billionaire George Soros, who is a real advocate of developing countries, suggests increasing financing clean energy and adaption projects in developing countries by using International Monetary Fund money that was intended to save the financial system.
A one-time infusion could provide 100 billion dollar. Soros comments: “The present US$10 billion a year plan is more than nothing, but not sufficient. All that is lacking is the political will.” Who else could know better how to invest in developing countries than a multi-billionaire?
Posted 10/12/2009 by Rolf de Vos
Comment on this blog
You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment
about this blog.