Wednesday, 9 June 2010

“Too many meetings’ shifted outside UNFCCC process, civil societies concerned

By Makereta Komai for Climate Pasifika in Bonn, Germany

08 June 2010, Bonn, Germany --- Concerns have been raised by international civil society organisations following the climate change negotiations in Bonn that ‘too many’ meetings are being convened outside the United Nations climate change convention process in preparation for Cancun in December.

“Negotiations on forests have been moved to Paris-Oslo on REDD process and the sources of finance are being addressed by the UN Secretary General’s high level advisory group, said the NGO’s briefing paper.

The NGO’s claim was strongly refuted by Mexico’s climate change diplomat, Ambassador Luis Alfonso Alba.

“I don’t share those concerns. Having these meetings are not new. It is something that we do every day at the United Nations and even in our national parliaments.

“Small groups are absolutely necessary in negotiations to build understanding. What is more important is that no decisions are taken in these small groups, said Ambassador de Alba.

Mexico has been holding small informal group discussions to bring about greater clarity on difficult issues before they are taken to the plenary sessions.

“We invite all like minded Parties to the table but the views of other Parties are also well represented in these small groups. We do not have a summary of the discussions because these meetings are only for the benefit of the chairs.

“There is nothing new or sinister about these informal sessions, said Ambassador de Alba.

Eight international NGO’s came out with their assessment of the Bonn talks Tuesday painting a ‘gloomy’ picture of the expected outcome here if the United States continues what it calls a ‘new paradigm for climate diplomacy.’

“The climate negotiations are being led astray. We lost our way in Copenhagen. We urgently need to get back to the Bali Roadmap here in Bonn, said the NGOs briefing paper.

Instead of honouring the Bali Action Plan, the US and a number of developed nations intend to ‘sink’ the Kyoto Protocol and ‘jump ship’ to a much leakier vessel created under the ad hoc working group on long term co-operative action (AWG-LCA).

“Rather than honour the Bali plan, they are now seeking to migrate favoured elements of the Kyoto Protocol (e.g. markets) into a new agreement under the AWG-LCA and to establish a system of voluntary pledges.”

The Bonn assessment report was compiled by Action Aid, Friends of the Earth, International Forum on Globalisation, Jubilee South, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Third World Network, Tebtebba and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.

Ms Komai will be covering the Bonn Climate Change negotiations from 31 May – 11 June 2010, thanks to support from Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). She will provide daily coverage of the negotiations via PACNEWS and the SPREP website, the climate pasifika blogspot, and the PINA Green page

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