The Spirit of Bali Returns

There was a nice surprise in the opening LCA plenary – a spirit of cooperation evident in interventions from every corner of the globe.  We have come to expect at least a day of discussions on how to sequence topics and the amount of time to devote to them.  But yesterday that did not happen. Instead, parties expressed an earnest desire to get down to work in light of the urgent realities of climate change.  They set forth their differences with the text, but they also highlighted the need to get down to business. Guatemala spoke heartbreakingly about the tragic loss of life from recent tropical storms, mudslides and floods.  Mountain nations highlighted how they are banding together to address their common interests and problems – their glaciers are melting and sensitive ecosystems are beginning to vanish. Island nations reminded their colleagues that failure to succeed here adds to the already growing threat to the very survival of their people and their nations. There is no doubt that the Chair's text will go through many changes. Controversies and difficulties will certainly arise over the course of the discussions. Clearly many parties want to see the text be more reflective of the Bali Action Plan.  Many parties want to see REDD progress. Many are troubled by the absence of their submissions in the text, as well as other concerns. But overall, we are off to a positive start. ECO hears a willingness to consider new approaches to negotiation and work toward a constructive outcome in Cancún. It was a refreshing way to open the LCA and the first ray of sunshine in Bonn.

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