Climate Change

Things go North - Update I

Formal negotiations are once again on hold while discussions take place behind closed doors

Published: Monday 07 December 2009

The COP/CMP plenary in which Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen promised to address the concerns of China, India and other developing countries regarding a new, secret Danish text, has yet to be held.

In a press conference, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, provided an official explanation: it's not possible for two major meetings, with full translation, to be held at the same time. And, priority must be given to the high-level meeting where heads of state and Ministers are currently giving speeches.

These speeches might not end until as late as 9 or 10 p.m. tonight. It's expected (but not certain) that the COP/CMP plenary will resume thereafter.

Mr de Boer also said it was now up to the Danish presidency to propose a transparent and efficient process for continuing negotiations, that would acknowledge the formally negotiated AWG-KP and AWG-LCA texts, as well as (presumably) the Danish text.

This seems like a tall order with just 48 hours left to go.

Meanwhile, there are rumours that the US convened a private meeting with selected Ministers this afternoon, no staff allowed.

No surprise
Separately, the US received today's top fossil of the day award for forcing the AWG-LCA text to include a bracketed option that would prevent setting an aggregate 2020 target for industrialised countries.

To options requiring Annex I emissions to be reduced by [25], [on the order of 30], and [49] per cent, the US added the option of [x] per cent, where x is the sum of voluntary pledges made by countries. Essentially, this language is meant to facilitate a pledge-and-review agreement.

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