UN climate change negotiations end with no answer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The UN climate change negotiations which ended yesterday in Bangkok have largely failed to deliver any substantive progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In a statement issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam, Saleemul Huq, senior fellow in the climate change group at the International Institute for Environment and Development, said the negotiations have also failed to transfer technology and finance from rich to poorer nations for adaptation and mitigation, leading to serious questions about the political commitment of the industrialized nations.

Huq, who is also a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said;

"Last month, President Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other leaders of industrialised nations all lined up to say how committed they were in tackling climate change and reaching an effective agreement on how to do this when UN negotiations end in Copenhagen in December."

"This gave the world high expectations for the international negotiation session that has run for the past two weeks in Bangkok," he added

"But it seems like the negotiators from industrialised nations either didn’t follow their leaders’ speeches or haven’t been receiving any new instructions because in virtually every aspect of the talks, there has been minimal progress of any substance," he said.

The G77/China group of 132 developing nations said that the EU is trying to "divide and conquer" developing nations and detract attention from their own broken promises.

There was virtually no progress on new targets for developed nations that are party to the Kyoto Protocol to cut their emissions, despite them being legally bound to agree new targets, he said.

The G77/China accuses the United States and the European Union of trying to kill the Kyoto Protocol, the only legal agreement that commits nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. The EU as a party to the protocol is legally bound to agree new targets for a post-2012 period.

In the negotiations focusing on ways to tackle climate change by reducing deforestation, the European Union has removed a provision that would protect against the conversion of natural forests to plantations, threatening impact for biodiversity and forest-dependent people.

"One area of hope is that countries are now reaching agreement that adaptation is essential to protect people and economies in the developing nations," said Huq.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change binds rich countries such as the United States and European Union member states to provide funding for developing nations to adapt and mitigate climate change.



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