Monday, May 31, 2010

Post-Kyoto climate talks get under way in Germany today

Negotiators roll up their sleeves and dig into the monumental task of putting together a post-Kyoto deal today in Bonn, Germany. Climate bureaucrats are charged with picking up the pieces of various texts and threads of deals from Bali to Copenhagen. They’ll try to stitch them together into something that can form the basis of a deal among the global leaders at the annual climate conference in Cancun in November.

The terms of the Kyoto protocol run out in 2012. The parties are hard at work to replace that deal with a new agreement that will set the framework for continued international cooperation on fighting dangerous climate change.

The climate meetings in Copenhagen in December failed to reach a definitive outcome and ultimately resulted in the resignation of the United Nations chief of climate change, Yvo de Boer. A recently leaked letter from the bitter de Boer saw him peg the blame for that failure directly on the presence of high profile world leaders and their closed-door negotiations.

The negotiators in Bonn have a tough road ahead of them as they juggle competing interests and serious global divisions. Among the most serious of these conflicts will pit developing nations against developed countries. Developing nations have served notice of their strong dissatisfaction with the Copenhagen Accord. In that Accord developed nations shut out developing countries and then turned their back on previous financial commitments to take appropriate responsibility for damaging climate change. The implications of the attempt to turn billions of dollars in aid into loans have not been lost on the world’s poorer countries.

I will be following the talks closely by watching webcasts directly on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change web site from today (May 31) to June 11. You can join me by watching at Here’s hoping self-interest and cooperation can collide.

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