COP Gossip: Deal or No Deal?

OMG, you will not believe what happened at COP today.

At this stage in the game the negotiators have submitted draft texts to the High Level Ministers where the final decisions will be made tomorrow (or early Saturday if it comes to that).

Equity and the gap in ambition between what emissions reductions have been committed to and what science says is necessary have been swept under the rug. These two important issues have been cut out of texts and will not even be presented to Ministers who make the final decisions. Unfortunately, the draft does include putting Carbon Capture and Storage in the Clean Development Mechanism. If approved, it will be a big victory for the fossil fuel industry because it justifies new coal plant construction and ensures further public funding for the fossil fuel industry.

At COP 15 the final days of negotiations were plagued with back-room deals that led to the Copenhagen Accord, which was totally inadequate and not legally binding. Further, the United States twisted developing countries’ arms by threatening their development aid just to agree to it. We really don’t want to see this year’s texts watered down in secret meetings before plenary on Friday.

There is potential for a somewhat positive breakthrough here tomorrow. The European Union has spent all day been working with least developed countries, the African Group and small-island states in side-meetings, hopefully to come to a strong deal. On the other hand, many people are saying that a ‘Durban Mandate’ which would push any concrete action back several years is the only thing that will come out of this.

Today, Environment Minister Kent said that he wanted to see a deal by 2015. But the reality is that countries like China and India have made a compromise by saying that they will make emissions reductions commitment only if there is an agreement for a 2nd Kyoto commitment period in Durban. Canada still refuses to budge on a 2nd Kyoto commitment period, which is crippling progress here. If the Government of Canada was actually serious about wanting a deal for 2015 they would agree to a 2nd Kyoto commitment period now.

Stay tuned for tomorrow – it should be a juicy day.

Tomorrow we will be live tweeting from the negotiations.


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