Tianjin climate negotiations sputter amid deep structural problems

The UN climate talks wrapped up today in Tianjin, China, but with little progress made toward narrowing countries' differences in preparation for next month's meeting in Cancún, Mexico.

UN climate negotiations in Tianjin, China

UN climate negotiations in Tianjin, China; photo credit Miriam Chaum

Prospects for Cancun

A team of EDF experts attended the negotiations this past week, and noted that countries are struggling with major structural problems.

In a statement after the meeting concluded Saturday, EDF's Managing Director for International Policy and Negotiations Jennifer Haverkamp said:

This meeting exposed the deep structural issues of the UN climate negotiations, and it’s unclear whether countries will be able to rise above these issues by Cancún.

Cancún must put us back on a track to an eventual comprehensive approach to reducing global emissions and achieving climate safety.

Success in Cancún will be measured by adoption of a strong and balanced set of decisions, as well as a workplan for a way forward to South Africa in 2011.

Forestry management

The EDF team also noted disappointing progress in important forestry and land-use policies.

For accounting rules for emissions from forest management, countries look poised to finalize a troubling precedent in Cancún that would allow developed countries to claim carbon credits or avoid debits without changing their activities on the ground.  Haverkamp said:

Although negotiators spent the week crafting a mechanism to make this accounting method more transparent, the review process would do little more than make a bad approach transparently bad.

Reducing deforestation

Similarly disappointing was the lack of progress in the REDD+ Partnership, which 50 countries launched in May 2010 to provide billions of dollars to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.  EDF is "dismayed" with how bogged down by procedural hurdles the process has been, Haverkamp said, adding:

Donor countries must stop dickering and start releasing the funding needed for this partnership to make REDD+ a reality.

Read EDF's full Tianjin press release.

This entry was posted in Deforestation, Forestry, REDD+, UN negotiations. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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