Finance and EU rifts could threaten COP19 progress

28 November 2012



[Doha – Qatar] – November  28, 2012 – Half way through the first week of the major climate talks of the year a number of worrying fault lines  have emerged which have the potential to derail the Doha negotiations if they are not resolved, NGO experts warned. 

The Polish Government – who will today be announced as host of next year's major climate talks – is playing a unique blocking role towards further climate action in Europe which could destabilise the climate talks in Doha.

While other potential flash points have emerged around the successful closure of the LCA track and climate finance.

Anja Kollmuss, from Carbon Market Watch, said the Polish Government was trying to win respect as a climate leader by hosting the COP19 next year, but the truth was they were singlehandedly preventing the European Union from raising its emissions reduction target to 30 per cent and from finalising a long term strategy to deal with climate change.

“The President of the climate talks needs to be able negotiate deals between parties and seal deals but the Polish government has shown it is not capable of this as it has repeatedly been against the wishes of the other 26 EU member states,” she said.

But the Polish Government is also blocking progress in the negotiations in Doha by refusing to agree to the tightening of the rules around pollution permits in the second commitment period of the only legally binding climate deal we have, the Kyoto Protocol.

The Polish Government wants to use pollution permits it did not spend in the first commitment period of Kyoto because it chose a target that was already met several times over, but allowing this would make a joke of Warsaw's commitment to the treaty.

Also under a cloud is the question of whether rich countries will scale up their funding of climate action to developing countries to reach the $100 billion commitment by 2020 and to capitalise the now empty Green Climate Fund. 

Oxfam International's Tim Gore said despite economic problems facing many rich countries there were many options still available to them to fund climate action, such as a Financial Transactions Tax (due to be implemented in 12 EU countries next year) or a fair carbon change on the emissions from international aviation and shipping.

“Failure to do this by next week, could see this COP start to unravel,” Gore said.

Mohamed Adow, from Christian Aid, said at this early stage of the talks countries were already adopting unhelpful negotiation tactics around the successful closure of the longterm cooperative action (LCA) track which came out of Bali in 2007 where finance was a key issue.

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