Brief summary of day one @ Bonn Climate Talks

YOUNGO met today before the opening meeting of the Bonn 3 Climate Talks. It was great to see such a large number of young people attending of which our delegation comprised about half, contributing significantly to the meeting. We discussed amongst other issues our “mission” at Bonn which varied from tracking delegates and relaying information back to our organisations and the public to specific activities such as preparing a YOUNGO submission of article 6. We also discussed two possible interventions split between AWG-KP and AWG-LCA meetings (see YOUNGO AWG-LCA Intervention blog post) and an NGO meeting with the new UNFCCC Secretariat Christine Figueras where we can raise two questions. Greenpeace will tutor us later in the week in the art of portraying clear messages during actions.

Generally both AWG discussions are not progressing at an adequate speed as per usual. The EU, as it has stated in a number of previous discussions, is still offering 20% reductions by 2020 or 30% depending on stronger commitments from other countries. Of course there’re a number of loopholes (e.g. LULUCF) which in reality reduce these pledges to relatively meaningless reductions and with respect to the science are totally inadequate. The Alliance of Small Island States believes Annex one countries pledges are in reality only 1 -7% reductions based on 1990 levels if you account for the loopholes. The AOSIS speaker was the only one to receive applause, largely from the NGOs present.

There was also a long discussion on a recent incident at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Talks II involving the distribution of leaflets and the removal of an official name plate by Oxfam and WWF which was contrary to the rules of the negotiations. These actions were described with a little exaggeration as a “heinous crime” by some oil rich states as they called for further exclusion of civil society as punishment. This relatively minor incident unimportant to the negotiations and completely insignificant in comparison to the issue being discussed was used by some countries as an opportunity to waste a significant amount of time, especially considering there’s only 11 days of negotiations left before COP16. Fortunately, there was a happy ending of this discussion and ALL parties agreed to put this behind them and move forward.

This evening a number of us will attend the reception hosted by the German government – free food and drinks and a golden opportunity to informally lobby delegates.

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