Coming closer to Cancun

By Fu Jing
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, August 9, 2010
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Does it take more time to make a clay pot or cook a meal with the pot? Some may say the latter needs less time.

It depends. For instance, it should be difficult to cook a meal for 192 people with varying food habits, compared to feeding just one family.

The United Nations faces a similar task when it comes to climate change. The world body is saddled with the ultimate task of achieving consensus on ways to fight climate change. For that, it has to expedite human intervention in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the world.

Last Friday, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres used the pot metaphor to measure the progress of the third round of negotiations at Bonn saying, "governments (from across the world) are much closer now to actually making the pot."

Actually, the pot making started in 2007 when the governments agreed on the Bali Roadmap to define the world's long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.

Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said the Bonn parleys were part of the process of making a pot. She said it had given governments worldwide a final opportunity to be clear on their individual stances regarding climate change issues.

During the previous week, both developing countries and industrialized nations had reinserted established positions into the negotiation texts and tried to increase the number of options for action.

Because divergent stances and optional targets were listed on the 50-page negotiation text last Friday, the media said the talks were retrogressing compared with the three-page political accord announced in Copenhagen last December.

To decide what exactly they were going to cook in the pot, Figueres said governments "must radically narrow down" the choices on the table.

In the closed-door negotiations, developing countries noted the urgent need for industrialized nations to turn their pledges of funding into reality, even while criticizing the rich countries for reduced commitments on emission reduction.

Last year in Copenhagen, rich countries promised $30 billion in fast-track finance for developing country adaptation and mitigation efforts through 2012. And, they further pledged to find ways and means to raise $100 billion a year, by 2020.

However, the fund is nowhere and the funding mechanism is still high up in the air.

Still, developing countries said a lack of transparency regarding the disbursement of emergency funds by rich countries, as agreed in Copenhagen, made it hard for them to compromise on any future deals.

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