by Christine Campeau, Caritas Internationalis Representative
The Poznan meeting on climate change in December marked the mid-way point in international discussions to agree on a new global climate change framework. The 2009 workplan was agreed upon at this meeting, which included a timeline to have a negotiating text prepared by the Bonn II meetings in June.
With regards to situating the Bonn talks on “the road to Copenhagen,” the UNFCCC Executive Secretary de Boer identified four minimum requirements for a successful Copenhagen agreement: targets for Annex I parties; meaningful efforts by major developing countries to limit emissions growth; financial and technological support for mitigation and adaptation; and clarity on governance. Until now, clarity has been reached on these areas however we still await real substance.
Given that COP 15 is rapidly approaching, critics are saying that it may be better to start downplaying expectations that Copenhagen will result in a detailed and comprehensive agreement and prepare to accept that it will be instead a key stepping stone where, like in the Kyoto Protocol, delegates reach agreement on the general framework but the details are defined at a later stage.
However, recent science suggests that global emissions will have to peak well before 2020 in order to avoid the most dangerous climate scenarios. While there is no clarity in the negotiations as to which emission pathway to follow, climate change seems to be leaving precious little time for agreement, elaboration and implementation for this later stage. We need for governments to start acting now.
Christine Campaeu will be in Malawi for a Climate adaptation meeting