Sunday, April 11, 2010

All Is Not Good in Bonn as Climate Talks Restart

The first official UN climate meeting since Copenhagen opened in Bonn, Germany, this week with tension. The US and other nations in the “select few” who crafted the Copenhagen Accord defended the agreement as a “significant milestone in [the] collective effort” to curb global warming. Critics called for a complete resetting of the negotiations process, repeatedly citing the need for “inclusiveness, transparency and legitimacy” if any trust is to be rebuilt across all participating nations. Venezuela and Bolivia have been very vocal in calling for the Copenhagen Accord to be set aside altogether.

Leaders in the debate are still focused on reaching a global treaty; however, some observers are suggesting alternative approaches to getting cooperation in solving climate change. These might include targeted actions to preserve rainforests or tying volunteer emissions reducing to access to climate funds.

The US and other western allies are attempting to punish those (Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, etc) who refused to endorse the Copenhagen Accord by suspending climate aid. This is more symbolic than punitive since the level of aid at risk is rather insignificant at present.

Other Articles of Interest:

· Washington DC to host the 17 major economic powers on April 18th & 19th in hopes of pushing forward slow-moving climate talks, which is sure to draw criticism from those Copenhagen Accord detractors.

· US climate legislation rumored to include transport tax on refined oil for purposes of infrastructure repair and green infrastructure projects.

· Nepal looks to lead formation of Mountain Alliance Initiative for Climate Change (MAICC) for lobbying agenda in Mexico.

· Group of Muslim countries consider aggressive action on climate change, or a “green haj.”

· If emissions reductions fail or prove too expensive, should we consider geo-engineering … again?

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