|Two new developments - | October 05, 2009 | IST: 11p.m
| MRV “Appendix” (referenced in FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.2, at para 21(c))
Miles to go before Copenhagen | October 05, 2009 | IST: 9p.m
One week gone and we have not made much progress. In fact, the doomsday scenario - the demise of Kyoto Protocol - seems increasingly to be a reality.
Today in the afternoon, Yu Qingtai, the Chinese Ambassador and Lumumba, Ambassador of Sudan and the current holder the G-77 chair, lashed out at the US and other developed countries for attempting to kill the Kyoto Protocol.
Addressing a press conference organised by the South Centre, Lumumba said that the EU, earlier a supporter of Kyoto Protocol, is now emulating the US in hiding behind isolationist tactics.In a scathing critique, Lumumba pointed out that under the LCA, the group issues of equity and historical responsibilities are being thrown out of the window.
Developed countries are also completely unwilling to announce the details about the mitigation targets they will undertake. They argue that before announcing mitigation target, they need to know what action developing countries will take, without any financial or technological support.
Yu stated that the primary reason why no progress has been made at Bangkok is the lack of political will in Annex I countries to finalize their Kyoto II targets. On the contrary, these countries are seeking to terminate the entire Kyoto process, which, Yu said, was an unfair way to negotiate.
In the last few days there has been uncertainty over the EU’s position on Kyoto. Today morning Sweden, the country heading the EU, clarified that the EU still had faith in the Kyoto process. But then, it said that the EU is looking at a new legal instrument, under which existing bits and pieces of the Kyoto Protocol will be included.
This move amounts to doing away with the current architecture of Kyoto, making a new global deal necessary - that is exactly what the US wants.
India, along with other developing countries, has been opposing this move. The best the developing countries are willing to accept is to take forward the same Kyoto architecture with whatever amendments required.
The meeting of the Contact Group on Mitigation under AWG-LCA has just ended. In the last few minutes, the US suddenly made a new proposal on MRV and recommended a review to be included in the negotiating text.
The recommendation contains a number of proposals. I am sure that developing countries will find a few of them contentious.
The Chair could not resist commenting that such proposals for inclusion in text should be submitted in advance, so that other parties have time to go through them and come back with their comments. The US proposal is attached.
So the scenario in Bangkok is far from ideal. And we are now just 8 negotiating days away (3 more days in Bangkok and 5 in Barcelona) from Copenhagen.
|The dramatic American briefing | October 05, 2009 | IST: 7p.m|
The briefing by Jonathan Pershing, head of the US negotiating team, turned out to be a dramatic event, with Pershing almost staging a walkout at one point.
The briefing, supposed to be for selective audience, was featured as an open meeting on the CCTV monitors. As a result, a gathering meant for the US delegation and international NGOs was attended by others including the media.
Pershing began with an update on negotiations, areas of good progress and divergence. Midway through the meeting, he spotted TV crews setting up cameras. Asserting that this meeting was off-the-record, Pershing declared that the briefing was not for the press.
At this point, most journalists walked out.
A mediaperson walked in later and was promptly requested to leave. The journalist persisted, asking when the press briefing was scheduled. Pershing complied with an answer, only to hear the journalist retort: while the most critical talk on climate change is being held, journalists are told to await a skimpy briefing at the end of the talks.
Offended Pershing politely asked the mediaperson to leave. The journalist, showing similar politeness, asked to be allowed to stay.
An irate Pershing then got up to leave in a huff, maintaining that the press briefing will happen later.
The impasse ended with the journalist deciding to leave, but not before he expressed his anguish about the media not being updated promptly enough on the developments.