The latest round of UN climate negotiations in Bangkok ended today with Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres touting the talks' "positive momentum" and "concrete progress," and the NGO coalition Climate Action Network sounding notably less enthusiastic.
Above: Delegates met in Bangkok for a week of climate negotiations to prepare for the major conference later this year in Doha. (Photo credit: flickr user UNclimatechange)
Environmental Defense Fund Attorney Alex Hanafi said in EDF's closing statement:
In Bangkok, it became clearer still that the prospect of a new climate deal that calls for all countries to do their part to lower emissions is still in its very early stages, and countries are grappling with how to transition from the old regime to a still as-yet-undefined new one.
Outside the slogging UN negotiations, however, momentum for action on climate change continues growing at national, regional and state levels. For instance, Alex said:
Australia and Europe’s agreeing to link their carbon markets last month is the latest example of the kind of international cooperation needed to stitch together climate action into a whole that will be greater than the sum of its parts.
The next — and the year's biggest — round of international negotiations begins in November in Doha, Qatar.
In Doha, Alex said, countries' success will be measured by their ability to do two things:
- expeditiously resolve their differences on the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, and
- then focus on making substantive progress toward achieving a strong, enforceable and flexible climate agreement by 2015.
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Climate talks in Bangkok wound down Friday, but with just three weeks until the upcoming Barcelona session, negotiators were clearly positioning for the next round.
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An excerpt of the 2009 IEA energy report released in Bangkok shows global energy emissions are down 3 percent this year due to the global economic crisis.
Ironically that could give us just enough breathing room to keep atmospheric CO2 concentration below 450 parts per million as we ramp up investment in renewable sources.
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