Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, December 14th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming, International - Tags: climate change, climate negotiations, lima, the stupid it burns
I gave up on the prospect of international climate change negotiations ever achieving anything significant after the failure at Copenhagen (we clearly lack the will to save ourselves). Sure enough the current talks at Lima, after failing to reach agreement, went in to “extra time”. Nothing will come of it:
Lima climate summit extended as poor countries demand more from rich
Climate talks in Lima ran into extra time amid rising frustration from developing countries at the “ridiculously low” commitments from rich countries to help pay for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The talks – originally scheduled to wrap up at 12pm after 10 days – are now expected to run well into Saturday, as negotiators huddle over a new draft text many glimpsed for the first time only morning.
The Lima negotiations began on a buoyant note after the US, China and the EU came forward with new commitments to cut carbon pollution. But they were soon brought back down to earth over the perennial divide between rich and poor countries in the negotiations: how should countries share the burden for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and who should pay?
In addition to finance, one of the biggest areas of contentious is “differentiation” in UN parlance – which countries should bear the burden of cutting emissions that cause climate change. The US and other industrialised countries require all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That would be a departure from the original UN classification of the 1990s – which absolved China, India and other developing countries which are now major carbon polluters – of cutting their emissions. Developing countries are suspicious that the text being developed in Lima is an attempt to rewrite those old guidelines. …
Round and round and round we go…
There have been more than 20 years of Conference of the Parties (CoP) meetings, such as those at Lima, with little in the way of concrete outcomes, said Ahmed Sareer, the Maldivian negotiator who is about to take over the leadership of the Alliance of Small Island States.
“How many CoPs will it take for us to really see any tangible results? We have been going from CoP to CoP and every time we are given so many assurances, and expectations are raised, but the gaps are getting wider,” he said.
While I have come to expect nothing from these talks, this year’s failure is particularly galling because of the active role that NZ played in it:
Lima week one recap: climate talks falter as governments evade scrutiny
Hopes were high going into the talks that goals announced last month by the world’s two biggest emitters of heat-trapping greenhouse gases – China and the US – would speed efforts to streamline text to manageable levels that could eventually be signed by all countries at next December’s summit in Paris.
But tension spilled over late on Friday and into Saturday following days of procedural wrangling when richer nations including the EU, Australia, Canada and New Zealand attempted to strip out any reference to a review or revisit of their current emission reduction commitments.
The reason that we want to avoid scrutiny of our record, of course, is that it is appalling, and getting worse. Far from meeting our reduction targets we are emitting more and more (the only action the Nats are taking on the issue is – lying).
I’m struggling for an optimistic note to end this post on. Can’t find one.