Are climate negociations on the right track ?

 

Even though companies and governments show their good will, the way to the COP21 is still an hazardous path. Climate negotiators gathered in Bonn from the 1st to the 11th of June with the objective to clarify the 80 pages document that will be the basis for negotiations In Paris in December.

The first climate negotiations took place more than 20 years ago. Everything started in 1990 with the first IPCC’s report followed by the launch of the UNFCC in Rio. Since then, every year, the Conference Of the Parties serves as the main climate negotiations, gathering 196 countries.

The Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997 at the COP3, embodies all the difficulties and progresses made by the international negotiations. It has led to the implementation of an International Emissions Trading System. The main difficulty is to find an agreement that includes all the countries. Kyoto failed to include the United States which was then the first CO2 emitter. Kyoto has served as a signal, an experimentation. Since then, negotiations took place every year, trying to find an heir to the Kyoto Protocol. This, until the COP15 failure. A few months before the COP21, Segolene Royal, the French’s delegation representative admitted that “the UN negotiations are not adapted to the climate emergency”.

Cornerstone of the climate negotiations, Kyoto’s binding commitments to reduce GHG have become the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for Paris. Expected by the end of May 2015, all the countries have not published their INDC yet. Among the good students we find the UE countries, Russia, the USA, Canada, Mexico and even Gabon, first African country to have published them. The absence of Australia’s or Japan’s contributions have been particularly noticed. According to the World Resources Institute, INDC currently published only cover 31,1% of global emissions. A new contribution wave is expected by September.

 

At the end of Bonn’s negotiations, disappointment seems to have won. The paper would have only lost 5 to 10% of its original volume. Discussions have been mainly directed towards grammar and punctuation, forgetting the main issues such as the Climate Funds. The text that will be used for Paris negotiations is still at a raw state and includes all the different possibilities. It will be fundamental to find an agreement on a synthesis explaining a clear defense strategy enabling us to reach our goal : limiting global warming to less than 2°C.