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Lack Of Progress Undermines Hope Of Meaningful UN Climate Agreement

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Hennef Weithöner, Climate News Network

Lack of progress at the close of “unbearably tardy” negotiations in Bonn undermines hopes of a meaningful deal being agreed at this year’s crucial UN climate summit.

BERLIN, 7 September, 2015 – The latest round of climate talks in the German city of Bonnhave ended with a failure to deliver common grounds for the negotiations at the UN climate summit in Paris at the end of this year.

The Paris talks, involving all UN member states, are meant to deliver a draft that could lead to a new world climate treaty to replace the expired Kyoto Protocol. But experts now fear that there will not be enough time left to see a major breakthrough.

Jan Kowalzig, climate change policy adviser at Oxfam, described last week’s negotiations in Bonn as “unbearably tardy”.

He said: “If the negotiators keep up that slow pace, the ministers at the UN summit will get an unfinished paper that they will have to resolve with no time for reflection. The outcome will then most likely be an extremely weak new treaty that will not save the world from climate change.”

Unresolved obstacles

In Bonn, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) − the body set up by the UN Climate Change Convention to devise a successor to the Kyoto Protocol − was asked to produce a paper for the Paris summit.

After a week of negotiations, they ended up with just a bunch of ideas and lots of unresolved obstacles.

“We cannot go on working on that basis,” says Sarah Blau, who led the EU’s delegation in Bonn. “We would love to start working on a new treaty, but all options have to be on the table. We have not reached that stage yet.”

Two major hurdles remain as the Paris deadline nears: climate finance, and emissions cuts. Back in 2010, the world agreed on building up a Green Climate Fund to help developing nations to tackle the impacts of climate change. The developed nations promised to provide the fund with US$100 billion by 2020.

So far, only around US$10 billion is in that pot. So who will contribute how much? And by when? The diplomats in Bonn were unable to say.

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