Looking at the new reports being posted on the UNFCCC website, ECO feels some empathy for the reviewers tasked with ‘judging’ the forest management reference levels.
Since there was no agreement on the rules for reference levels, each Party has had to do its own thing. And the results look as disjointed as a talent show. Some sang, while others danced. Some lifted impressive weights, while others performed magic tricks. Maybe some have shown real talent, but how can we judge the quality of their performance when we have no basis for comparison?
Perhaps Parties should take note of another multilateral, global process – the Olympic Games. In those Games, the rules are clear in advance, and thus the judges are able to score each performance on a set of common criteria – and those who don’t play by the jointly agreed rules, are disqualified.
It would have made the “judges” – the expert reviewers – job easier if Parties had agreed to a single method for setting reference levels back in Cancun. And of course, if that method had environmental integrity, the climate would be the ultimate victor. That didn’t happen in Cancun, and now Panama may be the last chance for Parties to recognize that such global reference levels are in the interest of all of our “national circumstances”. ECO says: “Go for the gold!”