Climate Talks – Progress or a Hamster Wheel?
By Rachel Baird, Christian Aid
The Moon Palace hotel complex where the talks are happening is ever more congested, with thousands of people all trying to get somewhere very fast – or being forced to stand still so that a President can pass. The countless TV cameramen actually run, if there’s a famous negotiator or colourful stunt to film.
Things are also happening quickly on the negotiations front. Yesterday morning we feared the UK would recall climate minister Chris Huhne, whose presence here we think could be critical in the hoped-for rescue of the Kyoto Protocol. By early in the afternoon, we were delighted to hear is staying.
Two major new negotiating texts appeared yesterday – but they still contain many square brackets, which means that plenty of disgareements between countries remain. I’m waiting for my policy colleagues Mohamed Adow and Sol Oyuela to give me their expert verdicts.
The very latest development is that the Bolivians have – very politely – dennounced the way that a major part of the negotiations are being handled. They are so unhappy with the fact that a group of some 40 to 50 countries has been asked to draft one of the final agreements which may emerge from Cancun that they have refused to be part of the group.
Their argument is that all the countries represented here – almost 200 – must be involved in drafting this significant part of the final outcome of the talks. What happens now is wide open – other countries may join in agreement with Bolivia or they may persuade the Bolivians to keep quiet about their reservations. Perhaps I’m wrong about this, but the situation reminds me of the final night in Copenhagen, when a relatively small group of countries came up with the controversial, weak Copenhagen Accord.
In theory, there are just over two full days of negotiations left before everyone goes home, with or without a deal to tackle dangerous climate change. In practice, I’m expecting the talks will continue through Friday night and into Saturday. Will it be worth staying up? I am still hoping so.Categories: COP16 blog, Christian Aid, UN Talks