Bangkok Climate Summit Negotiators Are Playing For Time
The climate change summit in Bangkok which ends tomorrow is not expected to reach much progress. Analysts say that the talks at best will result in an agreement to schedule more rounds of negotiations. The talks which are sponsored by the United Nations, would require new financing if this is the case.
The meeting aimed to draft an accord succeeding the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. The Bangkok talks are the first of what had been planned to be three summits. Some 1,200 delegates from 63 countries are participating. The negotiators are working on the basis of the ‘principle of common but differentiated responsibility’ which they accepted in Bali in 2007. In other words, the new pact will bind all countries to various actions.
These are the opinions of the main countries involved:
China; developed countries should live up to a guideline they agreed on in Bali; 2020 cuts of 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels.
Developing countries: insist they should be subject to less stringent targets as G8 countries. Are very skeptical towards Japan’s proposal to tackle the problems industry by industry.
The United States: agreed to take part in the successor to the Kyoto Protocol which they bailed out on. It advocates vague goals.
The European Union: Broad binding targets for each nation. In Bali, European negotiators were pushing for a binding target to cut rich nation emissions by between 25 to 40 percent by 2020 compared with their 1990 levels, but American negotiators pressurized them not to include numbers.
Japan: wants a “sectoral” approach — setting energy efficiency goals for each industry.
South Africa was strongly outspoken against the Japanese industry based approach.
The next climate change meeting had been planned later this year in Poznan, Poland, followed by a final December 2009 Copenhagen meeting.
An interim summit held in Japan mid March convened representatives of the world’s top 20 greenhouse gas emitting countries responsible for 80% of the world’s pollution. Little progress was made, but the agreement that all countries reached in Bali last year –that they’d at least participate in the negotiations to Kyoto’s successor– was upheld.