Climate Change Talks Deadlocked

Greetings from Bangkok.

I came here with all the representatives of the countries in the world hoping to get something. You know what we got? So far nothing. The meeting could not even agree on the agenda! We haven't even been able to begin. When I returned on Saturday, this would be the shortest report to write.

There were supposed to be 2 meetings - one on the Kyoto Protocol (WG-KP) and the other on Long Term Cooperative Action (WG-LCA). The Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012 and that needs to be renewed soon. The December deal in Cancun included a Green Climate Fund to manage $100 billion a year in aid to poor nations by 2020 and to limit a rise in average world temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. It also won consensus on measures to protect tropical forests and a framework to help poorer nations adapt to rising seas and greater weather extremes.

The agenda for Bangkok, the first major climate meeting since Cancun, is meant to build on the December deal by filling in the details on getting these schemes operating. But the 131-member G77 group of developing nations plus China said while Cancun was a good basis for talks, the tougher issues must be given much more focus and challenged the agenda presented by the chair of the meeting. Many rich nations counteract saying that they want a broader agreement that binds all big emitters to steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Japan, Canada and Russia are firmly opposed to the pact entering a second commitment period from 2013 while developing nations say Kyoto must be preserved.

The WG-LCA meeting was supposed to begin on Tuesday evening but with WG-KP still on-going, the WG-LCA can't or won't meet. Yesterday, an informal informal meeting was supposed to begin to settle the agenda but no agreement was reached. Today the WG-KP met and hopefully the WG-LCA will be able to meet by Friday, the last day. If not, we will all stumble to Boon in June with practically nothing in our hands and the world hurtling towards global warming! And we don't seem to care....

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