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May 31, 2010

UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Talks

Today, Monday, is the first day of the climate conference and we got a very discouraging briefing from the IUCN VP who oversees the climate staff.  It appears that the same conflicts that haunted the Copenhagen conference will have to be addressed all over again.  The developing countries want to preserve the Kyoto protocol because it creates binding

emission reduction requirements for the developed countries which form the basis for the Kyoto financing emission trading allowances from which many of them have gotten much needed assistance – but the US and the emerging countries refuse to be bound by any international body to anything.  The developed countries don’t want a procedure that does away with a unanimous voting requirement because they are afraid that with any kind of majority voting, the developing countries would vote a requirement for huge financial transfers that neither the US nor Europe and Russia would tolerate.  The emerging countries – Brazil, China, India and South Africa –  and the developing countries still are resisting any meaningful accounting, reporting and verification regime and the US wants it for them, but not for itself.  These will be very difficult  obstacles to overcome. 

The one bright spot is that a very accomplished Costa Rican woman diplomat just has been appointed the head of the UN negotiating body that runs the conference.  She has a really impressive record of successful negotiations of very difficult international agreements.