Rocky start for UN climate talks in Bonn

Today will be the first opportunity for rank-and-file negotiators to weigh in on a new draft whittled down from 80 pages to 20 by two senior diplomats -- one from Algeria, the other from the United States -- leading the process.

Bonn: As UN diplomats convened in Bonn today, developing nations were balking at the latest draft of a global climate agreement to be inked in Paris in December, negotiators and experts said.

The five-day session is the last formal parlay before heads of states and ministers gather in the French capital to seal a deal to beat back the threat of global warming and help poor nations cope with its impacts.

Today will be the first opportunity for rank-and-file negotiators to weigh in on a new draft whittled down from 80 pages to 20 by two senior diplomats -- one from Algeria, the other from the United States -- leading the process.

Reactions from developing nations and veteran analysts of the talks, now in their third decade, suggest that sparks will fly at the opening session.

Many countries are likely to insist that deleted passages be restored before the arduous job of line-by-line revisions can even begin.

"The text... Cannot be used as a basis for negotiation, as it is unbalanced," the African Group said in a statement released hours before the opening session.

The new draft "does not reflect the African Group positions, and crosses the group's red lines," it said.

The African nations' viewpoint is shared by other blocs under the more than 100-strong "G77 plus China" umbrella.

"There is no question that this new text will definitely anger some parties, or all parties in some ways," said Jens Mattias Clausen, a climate change advisor for Greenpeace.

One make-or-break issue is finance.

Rich nations have pledged to mobilie USD 100 billion per year from 2020 to help vulnerable countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the impacts of global warming.

Developing nations want firm commitments, not just on the total amount but also where it will come from and what it will be used for. They favour public monies, and demand that funds be balanced between mitigation -- cutting carbon emissions -- and adaptation.

The draft agreement "completely ignored the submissions of (the) G77 on finance", said Gurdial Singh Nijar, a Malaysian negotiator and spokesman for the Like-Minded Developing Countries, a grouping which includes China and India, as well as many African, Asian and Latin American nations.

There is nothing, for example, "on the obligations of developed countries to provide the means of implementation" for relevant technology, he told AFP.   

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close