COP16 to be another disaster?

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A number of FYEG delegates attended the contact group meeting this afternoon on Annex I Parties’ emissions reductions. When we arrived at 15:00, the start of the session, no delegates were present, only the Chair of the meeting. Eventually the discussions started thirty minutes late with less than half the delegates present. I’m finding it difficult to comprehend the level of disinterest at these talks, it’s truly shocking. Currently the only criticism delegates can muster seems to be about the standard of sandwiches, the only urgency in the coffee queue.

We now have three days of the United Nations Bonn Climate Talks left and 10 days of negotiations before COP16. This afternoon’s session was completely wasted first by starting late, followed by the absence of more than half the delegates. Then the delegates discussed for the entire session yesterday’s workshop on reducing emissions for Annex I parties instead of discussing the substance of the meeting. This was despite countless reminders by the Chair to move on, get to the substance and to stop going back to previous discussions.

Saudi Arabia constantly referred to various unimportant and irrelevant issues about the summary of a previous workshop. Japan repeatedly stressed there must be no Kyoto Protocol post 2012 – so no legally binding agreement – which also was irrelevant in the context of the meeting. But they were not alone. The EU and many other groups and countries were happy to join the time wasting game. In short, yet again, no progress was made.

This all begs the question; are these negotiators in a state of denial about the issue they are trying to resolve? Do they not care? Have they subsided into this carelessness and lackadaisical attitude after too many meals with corporate lobbyists? Do they still need a few more decades to cash in on their oil reserves? What on earth is the problem?

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