Copenhagen Diary 2: Kyoto Photocall?
Fears that governments were negotiating a political text behind closed doors were confirmed here yesterday with the leaking of a so-called Danish text. It’s made the headlines in all the NGO bulletins here in Copenhagen this morning.
The ITUC’s take on this is that it delegitmises the many years of negotiating through UN processes, excluding many who have sought to make a worthwhile agreement. It lacks long-term commitments, just pledges. The UN looks set to agree to lower level emissions commitments, lower financial flows to help developing countries adjust, and stronger demands for emerging economies such as India and China to do more.
It ignores totally all mention of just transition, decent work, green skills, and crucially, stakeholder involvement for the long haul ahead. If this is adopted, all the progress we thought we had made has gone. There’s one token reference to gender, in the wrong part of the text. No other civil society mentions.
Perhaps it was leaked for a purpose? It’s that bad. Today the ITUC delegation meets the Danish Presidency, an opportunity for us to raise the matter, and we’ll be seeking to meet a range of government delegations. Yes, we were aware that a political declaration might be made if talks here were incomplete by the end of this weekend. But one that reflected the state of play in those talks, not this.
Meanwhile, a UN paper tabled yesterday puts the total CO2 reduction commitment from the Kyoto Protocol nations at between 16% and 23%, a wide range and even the top end is not within the minimum required by the UN of 25 to 40% by 2020, with a peaking year at 2016, to limit the average global temperature increase to no more than 2°C
Last night the ITUC decided to stick to the open, transparent UN process for as long as is possible. But we also now need to meet with those who are drafting the alternative text. What will emerge, a real binding agreement, or just a Kyoto Photocall for heads of state?
It’s hard to believe that this text would meet the Road to Copenhagen aspirations of the UK Government for a FAB deal: a fair, ambitious and binding agreement.