Baltic and European news
Climate special report: state of play for Copenhagen
There is no guarantee of success in Copenhagen, the EU's chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger told journalists in Brussels on Monday in a downbeat assessment of the chances of an ambitious global climate deal in December.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso http://www.endseurope.com/22536?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY and EU member state officials http://www.endseurope.com/22556?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY said last week that Copenhagen would produce, at best, a politicalagreement on climate change, not a legally-binding treaty.
On Monday, Mr Runge-Metzger offered an analysis of the state-of-play in the negotiations after a week of climate talks in Barcelona ended on Friday without delivering major progress in any areas.
MITIGATION AND FINANCING
The biggest obstacles to an agreement remain developed and developing country emission reduction commitments and financing, the EU's chief negotiator said. There were "no compromises" in Barcelona.
The pressure is very much on host nation Denmark to broker a deal in December, Mr Runge-Metzger continued. Forty heads of state and government are expected to attend the Copenhagen summit, the UNFCCC said on Friday. US president Barack Obama remains undecided.
Negotiations under the Kyoto protocol have now gone as far as they can without a breakthrough in the broader negotiating track that includes the US, Mr Runge-Metzger told journalists. But the US is looking for "exceptional treatment" which would see their domestic legislation "more or less accepted at international level and nothing more", he said.
This is not popular with either the EU or the G77 group of developing nations. The EU is pushing for the Kyoto protocol's principles to underpin a new climate deal, while the G77 says it will block a non-Kyoto-based-deal.
Three questions dominate the financing debate: 1) should there be new institutions and a new fund for climate financing? 2) should there be a "matching facility" to identify specific developing country needs and link them to specific funds and 3) who will pay?
The EU is not proposing a new fund whereas the US is, developed countries want a "matching facility" whereas developing countries do not they would prefer to use any funds as they see fit and developed countries would like all nations to contribute to climate financing, whereas many developing countries are reluctant to pay.
The issue of who should pay caused heated arguments between developed and large developing nations in St Andrews, Scotland, over the weekend, where G20 finance ministers met to discuss climate financing. They too failed to make any progress.
ADAPTATION, CARBON MARKET, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
These three issues saw little change in Barcelona from where negotiators left off in Bangkok http://www.endseurope.com/22362?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY.
On adaptation, an internal G77 battle over which countries are most vulnerable and therefore eligible for financial assistance continues. The EU's proposal for a transition from the clean development mechanism (CDM) to sectoral approaches http://www.endseurope.com/22544?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY remains "very controversial", with some developing countries insisting on a choice not a transition.
Intellectual property rights continue to be the most problematic issue in the technology transfer debate. Also, while negotiators agree there needs to be a "technology mechanism", developed countries foresee a platform to facilitate transfer while developing countries envisage "a big pot of money".
Concerns over excess Kyoto credits (AAUs) and the trade impacts of a possible border-tax adjustment mechanism bubbled in the background in Barcelona without boiling over.
DEFORESTATION AND BUNKER FUELS
Negotiators are converging around three steps to tackle deforestation: 1) preparing countries, for example by ensuring good forest governance 2) kick-starting action with public finance and 3) moving to a performance-based mechanism that rewards every tonne of CO2 saved. The big question is should all forests or only threatened ones be covered.
There was progress on bunker fuels, Mr Runge-Metzger said, simply because they were discussed. The US, Canada, Norway and Japan tabled a "weak" counter-proposal to the EU's proposed 2020 targets http://www.endseurope.com/22438?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY that would leave responsibility for action with the shipping and aviation bodies IMO and ICAO, with only a target date for them to act.
Looking ahead, Danish climate and energy minister Connie Hedegaard will gather a select group of 35-40 ministers in Copenhagen next Monday and Tuesday to try to identify opportunities for compromise, Mr Runge-Metzger said.
Bilateral and multilateral summits such as the US-China meeting this week will be important to move things forward. It is still undecided whether the next Major Economies Forum (MEF) meeting or another heads of state summit will take place prior to Copenhagen.
Despite the gloomy prognosis for Copenhagen, there is "no change in the game plan so far" for the EU, Runge-Metzger concluded. "The minus 30% commitment is something that is on the cards for Copenhagen countries and leaders want to a make a deal," he said.
Follow-up: European commission memo http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/493&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
plus Mr Runge-Metzger's presentation http://www.endseurope.com/docs/91109a.ppt.
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