General impressions

The COP is LOCO with six formal bodies meeting simultaneously, numerous official side events going on from 9am – 9pm, a week-long IETA Carbon Finance event, Forest Day, Climate and Development Days, and Business Day all in parallel.  There could be 10 other meetings I could be attending right now, but it’s time for a break, post in the blog, and relax a bit before welcoming our guests at our Yale reception :-)

Parties are discussing mechanisms for technology and financing, as well as long-term mitigation targets under the Ad-hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).  There is agreement on some issues, but in my opinion discussions still seem too general and it would be interesting to see what conclusions the group reaches at the end of the COP – would this conclusion be enough to launch into full negotiation mode in Copenhaguen?

It would take too long to give readers an idea of how the group has progressed, and I must admit it is challenging to follow official discussions… many times you feel like you have just “jumped in.”  But discussions are nonetheless interesting, especially hearing countries perspectives and trying to figure out their intentions behind them.  I thought I would highlight some interesting remarks:

Financing:  Parties are starting to get realistic (or maybe cheaper?) about financing for climate change and are asking that the real needs of financing are assessed before any funds are allocated… and also determine who really needs these “additional” funds.  This is one of my favourite lines so far: JAPAN: “We cannot be an ATM for the world.”  The discussion follows that the financing needs for adaptation and technology transfer should  be assessed – who needs it and which countries are self-sustainable (i.e. what countries do not need “additional” support).  This made me reflect on the Mexican Global Fund proposal which we have discussed in class before, in which all Parties contribute to the Fund – according to responsibility and capability… officially… “under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities” yes yes… the respective capabilities part seems to recently have been added and underscored quite frequently now… i.e. let’s not forget about the large polluting developing countries who CAN actually pay for something.  Qatar?  South Korea?  China?  –> is this blog off the record… i’m not very PC…

In any case… the Mexican proposal does not seem too effective since developed countries would be able to access the very same funds they would have already contributed to it – a much smaller amount, but still why bother with all these bureaucracy if it’s your money anyway?  Therefore, we need to assess which Parties are self-sustainable… and have funds flow to only those who need the “additional” financing.  Let’s see how political this gets and if there is any money to flow around anyway (!).  Should we expect money to flow into Climate Funds in the same way that developed countries never delivered their promises of 0.7% GNI to ODA?  Or are we going to actually add a compliance component to these funds or maybe even better apply a “tax”?  Hold on right there… don’t want to scare the Americans away!!!  TAX TAX TAX TAX TAXXXXXXXXX 

ANYWAY… time for the Yale reception, will gossip back later.