Global deal on climate change in 2010 ‘all but impossible’
â€¢ ‘Disarray’ cited over UN organisation assessing pledges
Madden, David Kennedy, Tom Picken, Greg Clark and many more ….
global warming in coming decades uncertain, according to senior figures across
the world involved in the negotiations.
groups around the battlefield like a beaten army,” said a senior British diplomat.
delivering a global deal, which today will start assessing the pledges made by
individual countries by a deadline that passed last night.
limits on emissions can ultimately avoid the worst impacts of rising temperatures.
But a global deal at the next major climate summit in Mexico is impossible, says
the former deputy prime minister
it’s government ministers or NGOs, if they think you can get a legal agreement
all signed up by November in Mexico, I don’t believe it.”
some success, but I think a definitive deal is very difficult,” said Suzana Kahn,
a key negotiator in Copenhagen and Brazil’s national secretary for climate change.
Copenhagen summit last year,
is then converted to an internationally legally binding treaty in no more than
UN summit last month provides the basis for significant country-by-country carbon
cuts. But even the climate secretary,
they on their own be enough? Perhaps not, which is why we need to ratchet those
targets up,” he said.
“What people seem to forget is that an agreement does not reduce one molecule
of carbon dioxide – it’s national policies that do that.”
the problem that wrecked the Copenhagen summit, and which remains unresolved.
treaties, makes decisions by unanimous agreement of all 192 member countries,
and was described as “fatally cumbersome” by one close observer.
and other organisations such as the
by countries such as Bolivia and Sudan, which blocked agreement in Copenhagen,
and Tuvalu and other threatened states which want to retain a veto on deals they
see as weak.
sidelined. Last night, Brown said the UNFCCC was the only body to deliver a treaty,
whilst acknowledging its difficulties. “The process up to and at Copenhagen was
clearly flawed. We all need to work to ensure that the UNFCCC is an institution
that can bear the huge expectations we are putting on it. It remains the vehicle
for an agreement.”
its head, Yvo de Boer, has talked of a “cooling off period” after Copenhagen.
Last night’s deadline for nations to submit their domestic targets is expected
to have attracted about 25-30 responses, though De Boer had already fudged it.
“You can describe it as a soft deadline,” he said.
example, a 17% cut from 2005 levels for the US, 20% from 1990 levels for the EU
and 25% from the same base for Japan. A senior British official said: “For the
first time we have all the major economies agreed to action covering over 80%
of the world’s emissions. That has never happened before.”
fall far short of that goal. “Unless there is a wave of commitments over the next
24 hours, the accord is a long way off achieving the low carbon pathway needed.”
try to solve the problem of the UNFCCC negotiating structure. Getting that process started was crucial, said Jonathan Pershing, deputy US
climate envoy. “Twelve paragraphs [in the Copenhagen accord] do not make for an
adequate or comprehensive agreement. There is more work to be done â€¦ for a global
agreement to be reached.”
real emissions cuts. “We need a legally binding commitment from the US. I think
this is fundamental,” said Suzana Kahn of Brazil. But even after a defiant state
of the union speech from Barack Obama last week, most experts think economic fears
and the shadow of mid-term elections will scare enough Capitol Hill politicians
to make passing a strong – and therefore unpopular – bill near-impossible.
the participation of the two biggest emitters a deal makes no sense and one will
not make a deal without the other,” said Kahn. But if the US difficulties are
at least clear, China’s position is not even that. “There is great deal of uncertainty,”
said David Kennedy, chief executive of the UK’s committee on climate change.
of the blame for the summit’s failure, has hardened opinions, said Li Yan, Greenpeace
China’s climate campaigner: “Now there are stronger conservative voices and
more concerns about the changed diplomatic circumstances and the economic downturn.”
go into extra time, but we can’t afford a replay.” At the end of the chaotic summit,
that replay, set for Mexico in November, was seen as a good result, given how
close the entire show came to collapsing.
the world do not believe the rematch is even likely to be played.