In the Kyoto plenary yesterday, we got a taste of how things sound when there is no more time to defer decisions for another year. After all the talk of gaps, urgency and the need to set rules before targets, there’s nowhere else to move for Australia and New Zealand.
Those two were left alone in Durban as the only countries still unable to make up their minds on a second commitment period. They remained unwilling, still, to move ahead with the Durban ambition coalition, and be part of an agreement that can give us hope that we’ll close the emissions gap.
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ECO has long wrestled with this foundational dilemma of the climate talks, but has noticed something different in the negotiating air since Durban. There seems a new ¨C or a renewed ¨C recognition from all sides that the issue of equity cannot be pushed aside or wished away any longer. It is at the heart of the negotiations, and must be the foundation on which the Durban Platform is built.
Dear delegates:Yesterday CAN was scheduled to deliver a 2 minute statement at the opening of the SBI. Regrettably (to CAN at least), the Chair decided under his own authority that there were not 2 minutes left available in the session for the delivery of that statement. So you never got to hear it. For your information, here it is:
SBI-36 OPENING STATEMENT
While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after the Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret, that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol.
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ECO is hopeful that countries will approach the Bonn intersessional with a renewed vigour for making real progress towards a fair, ambitious and globally binding deal that reflects the scientific, economic and humanitarian imperatives.
As delegates bounce back to the Maritim, high off their post-Durban buzz, ECO thinks it’s worthwhile reminding them of the gravity of what they are negotiating. Durban very nearly failed. Had it done so, it would have empowered the formidable naysayers across the global economy, providing them with ample fuel to dismiss not only climate change but the multilateral system altogether.