The Durban negotiations are drawing to a close and so far there is no sign that Parties have reached a conclusion on the two big (and linked) issues on which the success of these sessions will depend: will there be a Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol (KP2) and will a Roadmap be agreed for the negotiation of a future global (and potentially legally binding) treaty in which all significant emitters will participate, says IUCN's Senior Climate Policy Advisor.
Consultations on these issues are in the hand of the South African President of the COP and the CMP, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. She convenes Indabas - a word in isiZulu that refers to a gathering of people with the purpose of discussing a matter of great importance to the community and to solve intractable or difficult collective challenges. KP2 and the Roadmap certainly fall into those categories!
Ministers are now directly involved in the deliberations, which yesterday lasted well into the night. The President had prepared papers outlining ‘the bigger picture’ and options for further negotiations on both KP2 and the Roadmap. In a press briefing today, she reported little progress but insisted that all Parties remained involved, and emphasized the active role of the BASIC group: Brazil, China, India and South Africa. This is important as these are the biggest emitters among developing countries.
A number of Ministers have taken the lead and are chairing the negotiating groups on the other issues that need to be finalized or progressed as far as possible, for example the Adaptation Committee, Finance and Mitigation by developed and developing countries. At her press briefing this morning, the President reported that the establishment of the Green Climate Fund was progressing well (this is the relatively ‘easy’ matter of agreeing on its governance). Parties want to launch it in Durban, but the issue of how the Fund will reach the promised $100 billion per year from 2020 onwards (or ‘long-term finance’ as it is called here) is proving tricky in these economically stretched times.
As the President said: 'we do not want to launch and empty ship'. She said that some Parties were coming forward with pledges, but gave no detail.
Today will be a long, hard day for Ministers and other negotiators alike. It is quite likely that the sessions will run into Saturday.