Sunday, October 25, 2009

43 Days Until Copenhagen

Government representatives from major global economies meeting in London this week suggested a Copenhagen accord is still expected and possible, but even some London participants, voiced by the Dutch diplomat, believe that there is not sufficient time before the crucial December meetings to reach concrete, binding agreements on all key issues. The lack of a US congressional agreement is cited as the major barrier to successful negotiations. In lieu of a comprehensive agreement, there is hope that an international carbon monitoring system, technology sharing framework and country emissions reductions and disclosure commitments will emerge from Copenhagen as building blocks for a 2010 agreement.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

50 Days Until Copenhagen

Following comments from the United States' lead negotiator for Copenhagen that it would be "extraordinarily difficult" for US to commit to carbon reductions before an agreement in Congress, Senator Boxer (D-CA) is suggesting that Obama's representatives could agree to emissions targets in December without a Congressional accord. This exchange is further evidence that strong messages from global government leaders are not being borne out yet in the negotiations room. (could delete this last sentence)

The debate over emerging countries "right to develop" will be a topic watch as world leaders continue to jockey for the high ground of public opinion and for negotiations. The likes of China and India have assumed roles as speakers for the developing world, which developed countries will be unjustly inhibiting economic development and the improvement of living standards by limiting emissions. Industrialized nations would benefit in the discourse by separating BRIC countries from other developing nations. To this point,terminology such as "economically more advanced developing countries" and "rapidly developing and increasingly wealthy polluters / countries" is creeping into media vernacular.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

57 Days Until Copenhagen

The World Bank recently published current estimates of required financial support from industrialized to developing nations to combat climate change at $75B to $100B annually until 2050. Even if the US and others concede, these nations want allocations to be controlled by the first-world funded World Bank rather than the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This all presents a real risk to other international aid as some dollar shifting seems inevitable.

Developed countries are eschewing the Kyoto model, which did not focus on emissions of 130 developing nations such as China and India, but rather are proposing self-established and self-regulated reduction commitments. However, some global coordination and regulation would seem essential if reduction targets are to be achieved.

A last glimmer of hope for a Copenhagen agreement exists in the Nobel Laureate's visit to China in November. If Obama can hash out the differences between the primary two super-powers / super-emitters then most other nations of consequence will have little choice but to follow in line.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

65 Days Until Copenhagen

The Obama administration concedes that US climate change legislation will not be enacted before Copenhagen, setting the stage for a US commitment to global conditions, side-stepping Congress in the process. Ingenious tactic or failure of bureaucracy? Meanwhile, the US and EU have teamed up in an attempt to disband the Kyoto Protocol and initiate a new regime through the Copenhagen negotiations, which would hold developing nations, led by India, to the same binding emissions reductions targets as industrialized nations, and without financial or technical assistance. With both camps firmly establishing disparate and extreme bargaining positions, compromise does not seem inevitable.