Getting down to business at U.N. climate talks a hard task

August 4, 2010

A U.N. concession to delegates at this week’s climate talks in Bonn to take off jackets and ties due to recent high temperatures may be going to some participants’ heads.

Breaking the back of negotiations for a new climate pact after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 is proving hard work even though the talks’ chair hopes to have a new negotiating text on the table by the end of the week.

Developing nations are still blaming the rich for global warming and the issue of who will contribute most to climate financing is still a matter for debate.

A year-end meeting in Cancun looms closer and the pressure is on to get the job done.
Yet, the acronyms being bandied around — LULUCF, CDM, AAU, AWG-KP, AWG-LCA, REDD, to name a few — are enough to make your head swim.

Even a Chinese negotiator on Tuesday admitted he did not understand a complicated forestry and land use presentation the previous day by the European Union.

Talks kicked off on Monday with a three-hour session during which countries spent an inordinate amount of time thanking the chair and congratulating the new U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres on her post.

Delegates didn’t manage to finish the day’s business by the evening and had to continue into Tuesday, despite calls from the chair of the talks to keep to a very tight schedule.

Getting down to business was hampered further after the Saudi Arabia delegation withdrew calls for Oxfam and WWF to be banned from the talks for five years.

At the last conference in June, activists broke the nameplate in front of the Saudi delegation, threw the bits down a toilet and took photos.

The incident, though carried out by two individuals who have since been barred from talks, created a furore which threatened to overshadow the June meetings.

“Saudi Arabia is a forgiving society, and our culture allows us to forgive whoever commits a wrong against us, as long as he or she admits it and apologises,” said the country’s head negotiator Mohammad Al-Sabban this week.

Now wrapped up and hopefully forgotten, it is hoped that the talks can get down to getting some kind of consensus on emissions cuts and how much countries need to spend to help developing nations affected by climate change.


i dont see encouraging news in CDM progress, i guess it will die eventually

Posted by hshpan | Report as abusive

With more holes in the global warming theory than there are in the ozone it is unlikely that any progress will be made. Perhaps the best thing to do is to abandon this exercise in futility and admit that man cannot control the thermostat of earth.
If global warming were a serious problem then the solution would not be to tax Americans to stop it.
We are taxed enough.

Posted by cashman57 | Report as abusive

Wow, all these people are so concerned about global warming that they will all fly (Imagine all that fossil fuel) to a resort in the middle of winter (Imagine all that golf and beach bunnies) in Mexico. Sure could use all that hot air in New York to cut the heating bills. Maybe we could send the U. N. down there permanently? Maybe they could meet in Moscow, or Canada, or Denmark, and rethink all the hype they put out to try to fear monger everybody. Yeah, I know, the scientists say this or that, these guys meeting in Mexico hold the purse strings of the scientists, and they will say anything to get funded.

Posted by stilldazed | Report as abusive

It is amazing that some third world countries send delegates when their life expectancy due to their dictatorial rulers is 40 years old. It doesn’t seem like climate change would be the most important thing on their mind unless of course it is free money. And isn’t that what this whole global warming thing is really about – income redistribution.

Posted by jdsommer53 | Report as abusive

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