Workable global accord on climate needed

The major objective for the meeting was to identify the elements that should be included in this agreement, due to be...

The major objective for the meeting was to identify the elements that should be included in this agreement, due to be concluded in Paris in December 2015, and to decide what information countries must provide about what they intend to do.

According to the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Bonn talks __did not make the progress that was hoped for__ and had thus left a __very ambitious agenda__ for ministers to deal with at December__s UN climate summit in Lima, Peru.

But UN climate chief Christiana Figueres insisted that last week__s six-day session had delivered __fresh clarity on how and what countries will communicate in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) during the first quarter of 2015.

This was disputed by UCS policy director Alden Meyer, who said: __Unfortunately, we__re leaving Bonn with not much more clarity than when we arrived__ __ citing __sharp differences__ between rich and poor nations over what should be included in the INDCs.

Most developed countries think they should focus largely on actions to reduce greenhouse emissions. However, developing countries believe the new agreement must also include commitments on climate finance, technology transfer and adaptation to global warming.

__Negotiators further disagree on whether and how to assess both the collective adequacy and the individual fairness of countries__ contributions against the agreed goal of holding global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius,__ Mr Meyer said.

Christian Aid__s Mohamed Adow said the momentum for action evident in the People__s Climate March in New York last month had not been mirrored in Bonn, where __the unusual negotiation process locked governments into restating worn positions__.

Meena Raman, of the Third World Network, said the talks __can__t fairly be called negotiations. They were discussions, sharing of views, but no actual elbows on the table ... I can__t see how they__ll pull the elements together if they continue like this.__

There was also scepticism among civil society representatives about Europe__s pledge to cut emissions by __at least 40 per cent__ by 2030, under the EU Climate and Energy Package, agreed in Brussels last Friday, with most believing it doesn__t go far enough.

But Ms Figueres said the meeting had kept the negotiations __on track__ for Paris.

Irish Times | Frank McDonald

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