Saturday, October 9, 2010

Memoirs from Tianjin - Are We Moving Backwards?

Climate negotiators reconvened in Tianjin, China this past week in the hopes of healing the growing divide between industrialized and developing nations leading up to Cancun in December. Secretary Figueres pleaded with nations to find common ground even for a non-exhaustive agreement, and the UNFCC claimed that progress was made by week’s end. However, this rosy view is mostly spin and hopeful language from the UN as 3 major challenges lurk as large as ever – Kyoto expiration, BASIC emissions trajectory and technology transfer.

Finger pointing in the aftermath seems to be reaching new heights. US Envoy Todd Stern directed harsh words toward China suggesting that the world’s largest emitter is treating the Copenhagen as purely informational and merely exemplary actions to take place. Contrarily, China is blaming the richest countries for not committing to drastic enough cuts and for attempting to renegotiate the terms of Kyoto. China does not plan to set an emissions peak any time soon, but it is claiming near victory on its 5-year goal to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20%.

Other carbon articles of interest:

· The US vocalizes ambitions for “logical” US-India climate & technology coalition as Chinese relations flounder.

· Obama suggests passage of energy reform may come in form of multiple pieces of legislation. A patchwork solution to patchwork regulation ...

· New deforestation framework may be one of few agreements to result from Cancun.

· UN’s Figueres calls for grassroots movement to force global treaty. (Recall 2 weeks ago she was asking business to sway their governments too.)

· Political wavering on Australia’s carbon tax plan.

· Island nations drowning from international gridlock on climate change.

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